Back in 2012, TIME Magazine stirred up controversy by featuring Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year-old mother of two, breastfeeding her son on the cover. Despite the uproar, the message then was loud and clear—breastfeeding is the norm.
The 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card highlights that 4 out of 5 children (81.1%) were breastfed for part of their life. It is clear that many mothers are choosing to breastfeed. Perhaps more interesting, however, is the percentage of babies breastfed over three months or more. When it comes to longer term figures, 34.6 percent of babies were breastfed from 1986 to 1988 and between 2009 and 2010, this had increased to 49.9 percent.
The needs of nursing mothers returning to the workplace are unique. As The Solution for Working Parents®, Lightbridge Academy has addressed their needs by creating a higher level of support that allows them to focus on work, knowing their children are healthy, happy and well-fed. For this reason, Lightbridge Academy recently unveiled its innovative BottleBridge Certification Program—a first-of-its-kind training program certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and based on the collective information provided by institutions such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The program provides all Lightbridge Academy infant caregivers with the depth of knowledge necessary to support nursing infants and mothers.
“The stresses on nursing mothers are great and these stresses increase when it’s time to return to work. Moms are faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to continue breastfeeding their child and how to successfully accomplish this desire. Lightbridge Academy’s certified infant caregivers bridge the gap by supporting every mother’s personal decision—whether that is to nurse, provide bottle-fed breast milk or formula,” said Jennifer Romanoff, the Vice President of Education and Training at Lightbridge Academy. “The BottleBridge Certification Program offers personalized support to mothers and full-time peace of mind for their newest arrival with the training to help them through this transition.”
The certification program provides infant caregivers with the knowledge needed to create supportive relationships with nursing mothers and babies, properly bottle-feed expressed breast milk and also how to safely handle and store breast milk. The certification process is delivered through the brand’s online learning center. Trainees also walk away from the program with a thorough understanding of the many benefits of breastfeeding and a better sensitivity when it comes to building relationships with nursing moms.
“We recognize and understand that it is every mother’s personal decision on what they choose to feed their infant formula or breast-milk.,” said Gigi Schweikert, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Lightbridge Academy. “Because more studies have come out touting the benefits of breastfeeding, we have experienced an increase in the amount of mothers wanting to continue providing breast milk after they return to the workplace. Our BottleBridge Certification Program provides in depth training to all infant caregivers on how to facilitate these desires and develop the strong bonds necessary for moms to continue providing breast milk to their babies—even when they aren’t physically there.”
In addition, the new Lightbridge Academy center design includes a Bonding Room. This comfortable room is available to all parents to spend time with their infants and also allows nursing moms the privacy to pump and provide expressed milk. Along with support from trained caregivers, busy working parents can bond with their children while still in Lightbridge Academy’s care.
“Making the decision to go back to work is difficult as a new mother, and there’s a lot of emotion and guilt that sometimes goes into that. When choosing a child care center, it’s not always about convenience or price. It’s often about how that center made them feel,” said Romanoff. “When parents see we’re going that extra distance to support them, it gives them the confidence that they’re making the right decision. New mothers come to us because they feel it in their heart that Lightbridge Academy is the right place for their family to be.”