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Downstate Times

The Newsletter for SUNY Downstate
University Hospital of Brooklyn

Teaching Parents the Benefits of Breastfeeding

by Betty Jung , RN,
Patient Educator
Center for Health Promotion and Wellness


Sarah Marshall poses with a couple who attended her breast feeding workshop at a local Babies "R" Us store.

Sarah Marshall, RN, CCE, ICCE, CBC, is on a mission. As a patient educator for the Center for Community Health Promotion and Wellness, she wants to encourage all mothers who are able to breastfeed to give their newborns the best start in life.

Since November 2012, she has been offering monthly Breastfeeding 101 workshops at the Babies "R" Us store in Brooklyn's Gateway Shopping Center. Certified as a lactation instructor, she teaches new and expectant parents the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

"It's been a great experience for me to see how eagerly these mothers-to-be look forward to breastfeeding their new baby," she says.

Ms. Marshall also instructs UHB physicians, nurses, and staff involved in maternal and infant care. This training is part of the hospital's action plan for winning designation as a Baby Friendly Hospital. UHB is currently in the final phase of the fourth pathway to becoming the third hospital in New York City to earn this status.

Ms. Marshall promotes breastfeeding because it is easier for babies to digest and helps babies develop a strong immune system that guards against infections and illness. It also helps build a bond between mother and baby.

Good word of mouth has brought Ms. Marshall invitations from other Babies "R" Us stores to teach her course at their locations. A growing number of their customers are now choosing UHB for their postpartum and family health care. As Ms. Marshall often says, "Breastfeeding benefits everyone."