Systems Based Practice


Module 3: System Based Practice​​


Goal A

Learners will support and advocate for policies which promote and support breastfeeding as the cultural norm within the medical community and the community at large.

Learner Objectives Learners will be able to

  1. Describe the general benefits of and risks of not breastfeeding for the infant, mother, and the community at large, and be able to list common barriers to successful breastfeeding.
  2. Understand why working actively toward eliminating hospital policies and practices that discourage breastfeeding for patients, employees, and residents is important.

Essential Activities

  1. Have learners compare a hospital policy to the the Baby Friendly Hospital InitiativeThe Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, and identify at least one barrier and one solution that could be suggested to improve the hospital's policy.
  2. Prepare a lecture on systems of oppression that may impact breastfeeding rates, such as the built environment, federal/state/and organizational work policies, resource scarcity, access barriers, and historical discrimination.

Goal B

Leaners will understand how to coordinate services with, and provide appropriate referral to, other professionals, laypersons, and community groups, consistent with a multidisciplinary approach to care.

Learner Objectives Learners will be able to

  1. Identify and establish a relationship with community and professionals groups that support breastfeeding, such as State AAP Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinators and WIC Breastfeeding Coordinators, and La Leche League
  2. Identify various professionals who contribute to the support and management of the breastfeeding infant and mother.

Essential Activities

  1. Have learners create a list of community and professional groups that promote and support breastfeeding. Make sure learners include support for different racial and ethnic groups such as Mocha Moms, NMA Breastfeeding Alliance, Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association, and Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE)
  2. Have learners compare the roles of breastfeeding counselors, CLC, and IBCLC in assisting physicians to provide breastfeeding care to families.
  3. Have learners review the evidence on breastfeeding disparities. Have learners find and present to the class 1-2 research articles on breastfeeding disparities.
  4. Have learners become familiar with resources for transgender and non-binary parents.
  5. Have learners become familiar with lactation resources for those doing surrogacy or adoptive parenting.
    Additional Activities (Optional)
    1. Have students give a presentation to pitch a new breastfeeding policy/program to the hospital administration. If there is a committee, have students attend meetings.
    2. Have a speaker from the local Le Leche League or AAP Chapter Breastfeeding coordinator speak in class.
    3. Have learners attend the educational/prenatal classes at your hospital.
    4. Have students publish a local breastfeeding resource guide if there is not one available.
    5. Have students send letters to legislators to advocate for state and local laws (family leave policies, work policies, breastfeeding in public, lactation services, and breast pump rental coverage laws).
    6. Have learners read the Business Case for Breastfeeding and have them conduct and present a cost/benefit analysis of breastfeeding within a defined population.
    7. Have learners accompany a public health nurse or home care nurse on a breastfeeding infant visit.
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