21 at CHCC become certified breastfeeding authorities

Posted on Nov 11 2022


A total of 21 staff members from various departments and programs across the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. hold up their certificates that identify them as certified breastfeeding authorities. (CHCC)

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is working to create supportive and safe environments for mothers who choose to breastfeed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers. It is the clinical gold standard for infant feeding and nutrition, with breast milk uniquely tailored to meet the health needs of a growing baby.

Part of the work to improve breastfeeding is to build capacity for breastfeeding support in the CNMI. The CHCC Public Health Services, through its CNMI Women, Infant, and Children’s program, or WIC, and Maternal and Child Health program, or MCH, coordinated a Breastfeeding Boot Camp on Saipan, which included a weeklong intensive training led by D. Christia Bridges-Jones DNP, FNP-C, IBCLC on Sept. 26 through Sept. 30, 2022. The training was completed by 21 staff members from various departments and programs across CHCC who are now identified as certified breastfeeding authorities.

The goal of the training is to equip participants with the skills, tools and resources to help women make and reach their breastfeeding goals, build a network of partnerships, and advance breastfeeding support capacity in the CNMI. The all-inclusive course covers a series of topics, including components of breastmilk, anatomy and physiology of the breast and infants, feeding positions, alternative feeding methods, handling of special cases and circumstances, maternity care practices, pumps, etc.

Participants are required to attend 35 hours of instructor-led sessions and complete a post course assessment to obtain a three-year certification as a certified breastfeeding authority, or CBA.

This particular boot camp cycle prioritized individuals who work with or support women, infants and children as part of their regular day to day activities. Participants from WIC, HOME Visiting, Women’s Health Clinic, Children’s Clinic, Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Obstetrics & Nursery, Immunization and Tinian Health Center committed to the weeklong training.

Based on post-training evaluation, 100% of participants rated the course as excellent and expressed gratitude for having been invited to attend.

CHCC encourages internal and external partners to join efforts in expanding and promoting a strong breastfeeding culture in the community by participating in future course offerings.

For more information about breastfeeding support and resources, call the CNMI WIC program at (670) 664-4084. (PR)

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