The Power of Peer Support:  Improving outcomes in the NICU with a breastfeeding peer counselor program

Last modified by Ann Watkins on 2016/07/27 21:25

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Many hospitals across Canada have recognized the value and power of peer support and have integrated peer support into clinical practice. The NICU at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has developed a rich program of peer support services; most recently the team welcomed a new Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor whose role is focused on supporting women as they learn to make milk for their babies.

In this webinar, the team behind the program will describe the issues the program and role were designed to address, the initial inspiration, the recruitment and training process, how the program evolved, and the achievements of the Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor.  



Luisa King, Breastfeeding Resource Nurse 

Luisa King is an NICU nurse with more than 25 years experience.  Currently, she serves as the Breastfeeding Resource Nurse and Developmental Care Coordinator at Sunnybrook NICU.  She supports families in achieving their feeding goals for their babies, runs a comprehensive education program for NICU families, and coordinates the yearly international Kangaroo Challenge.

Beth Nolson, Breastfeeding Resource Nurse

Beth Nolson is an RN and IBCLC who has worked in a level 3 NICU for 30 years. She presently enjoys a dual role as Breastfeeding Resource Nurse within the NICU and as Lactation Consultant within the hospital's Breastfeeding Clinic. This joint role give Beth the opportunity to use a broad range of skills as she cares for the fragile preterm dyad and the more robust term infant and family. Her greatest joy is seeing moms meet their breast feeding goals, and in seeing parents develop confidence in their parenting.

Ophelia Kwakye, Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor 

Ophelia Kwakye is the mother of a son born at 24 weeks, who is now a healthy and happy 4 year old. She brings years of experience in customer service to her new role as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor in the NICU at Sunnybrook HSC.

Kate Robson, NICU Family Support Specialist

Kate Robson is the mother of two girls born preterm, one at 25 weeks and one at 32 weeks. She has spent time as a patient and as a parent in 4 different hospitals and 3 different NICUs. She now works at Sunnybrook Hospital as a family support specialist, working closely with families and helping the unit deliver family centred care. She is also the Executive Director of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation and co-chair of the Canadian Family Advisory Network.

Created by Ann Watkins on 2016/04/19 15:24