Along with provided a full range of primary care services for women of all ages and stages of life from adolescence through menopause, the certified nurse midwives of Neighborhood Family Practice have been focusing some of their efforts on improving the breastfeeding rates among their patients, with added focus on minority patients.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of babies born in the U.S. for whom breastfeeding was initiated in 2019 was just over 80%. It was 73.5% in Black women, and even lower in Black women in Ohio, at 68.8%,” says Lauren Lasko, APRN, CNP, IBCLC, an NFP nurse who is also a certified lactation consultant. “At NFP, our breastfeeding initiation rate – meaning a newborn is put to the breast within one hour of birth – among Black patients in 2021 was 92%.”

Lauren works with the NFP midwives to promote breastfeeding by educating expectant and new parents about its benefits which include reduced risk of things like asthma, obesity and Type 1 diabetes in babies and reduced risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and different cancers in mothers. Lasko also helps with issues like milk supply, sore nipples and breastfeeding positions.

“We want the best for our all of our patients, and with the proven benefits of breastfeeding, one of our goals has been to increase the number of them who attempt to breastfeed their baby,” says Katy Maistros, APRN, CNM, NFP’s associate medical director of midwifery services. “Because the number of Black mothers who initiate breastfeeding is even lower in Ohio and nationally, we’ve focused even more effort on them. While there is still much work to be done to support our patients in this area, the results we’ve achieved are remarkable and are giving us added incentive to keep doing what we’re doing.”