July 12, 2011

Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States Debuts ‘The Newborn Club’ to Promote and Support Breastfeeding

New program will enhance services for expectant mothers and new families

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, the area's largest nonprofit health plan and care provider, is debuting a new program - the Newborn Club - for Kaiser Permanente members throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Kaiser Permanente launched the Newborn Club to help new mothers overcome breastfeeding challenges, and provide on-going education and hands-on support, during the first crucial weeks after delivery, so every baby has the opportunity to thrive.

"Although breastfeeding is natural, learning how to do it properly takes time, patience, and often requires some help from a professional lactation consultant," says Jamie Greene, Regional Nurse Executive for Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States. "The Newborn Club is just one example of how Kaiser Permanente excels in preventive care. With early education and guidance, successful breastfeeding can be established, leading to healthier babies, children, and ultimately, adults."

The Newborn Club is staffed by Kaiser Permanente's International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), who help members prepare for the arrival of their baby by providing information and breastfeeding classes to parents during the last trimester of pregnancy. For example, IBCLCs teach new mothers the basics of breastfeeding including what position to hold the baby in when breastfeeding, how to tell if the baby is getting enough milk, and how to use a breast pump. After delivery, Kaiser Permanente's IBCLCs also provide on-going support to new mothers until they feel confident with breastfeeding.

Kaiser Permanente has received positive feedback from its members since the launch of the Newborn Club in fall 2010. To further broaden its Newborn Club services, several Kaiser Permanente registered nurses, with expertise in Maternal Child Health, are receiving training to become IBCLCs. In addition, "all pediatric nurses receive training in newborn assessments and basic breastfeeding strategies, so that every new mother at Kaiser Permanente will have access to lactation advice and care assistance beginning with their baby's very first appointment after hospital discharge," says RoseAnne Zivich, RN and IBCLC at Kaiser Permanente's Springfield Medical Center in Virginia.

Currently, the Newborn Club is offered in Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Northern Virginia. Kaiser Permanente's plan is to expand the Newborn Club to medical centers in Maryland and the District of Columbia in the coming months.

In February 2011, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States received a Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award from the District of Columbia Breastfeeding Coalition and the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition, in recognition of the supportive work environment provided to breastfeeding employees. For more information: http://bit.ly/fokyPU.

About Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States

Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States region, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, provides and coordinates complete health care services for almost 500,000 members through 30 medical centers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1980, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is a total health organization comprised of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., an independent medical group that features approximately 900 physicians who provide or arrange care for patients throughout the area. Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is considered one of Maryland's "Top HMOs," according to the Maryland Health Care Commission. The Health Plan was ranked in the nation's 100 top commercial health plans and 20 top Medicare health plans - and the #1 Medicare plan for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. - by "NCQA Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2010-2011 Private." For more information about Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, visit www.kp.org or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/KPMidAtlantic.

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States