Celebrate Breastfeeding throughout August

Union Institute & University (Union) celebrates breastfeeding throughout August in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week (WABA), August 1-7, 2022, Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW), August 25-31, and National Breastfeeding Month (USBC) sponsored by the United States Breastfeeding Committee.

Union is a leader in the Human Lactation Studies major through its Bachelor of Science in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation degree and the Master of Arts in Human Lactation Studies degree. These are the only CAAHEP-accredited Pathway 2 programs that lead to a bachelor’s or master’s degree in lactation.

“Union is one of the only lactation online degree programs in the world,” Lisa H. Akers, Union Program Chair, said. “The Human Lactation Studies majors offer students the ability to learn from previous research while building the skills and strategies necessary in breastfeeding management as they prepare to become International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and/or aid in their professional development as a seasoned IBCLC. Students receive a strong foundation in research methods, healthcare ethics, evidence-based practice, and experiential learning.”

Breastfeeding is an Environmental, Economic, and Social Justice Equalizer

“Breastfeeding is key to sustainable development strategies. As WABA points out, breastfeeding improves nutrition, ensures food security, is a natural and low-cost way of feeding babies and young children, reduces inequalities between and within countries, and eliminates waste,” Akers said. “Union is committed to engage, enlighten and empower our students with the skills and training necessary to build a solid foundation in order to make a difference in the lives of families around the globe as providers in the human lactation field.”

Union introduced real-world and family-friendly programs this year

New at Union this year is The Nest. The Nest is an Interprofessional Telehealth Clinic that offers virtual video consultations to families. This innovative service expands the outreach to breastfeeding dads who cannot visit in person and covers prenatal breastfeeding assessments, latch issues, sore nipples, milk supply, and weight gain. In addition, The Nest also offers virtual group prenatal and going back to work breastfeeding classes for expectant families. Students will lead the consultations gaining real-world experience, but under the supervision of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant faculty member.

WIC college credit offered

Women Infants and Children (WIC), a federal program of the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, is a Supplemental Nutrition Program. WIC works to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care.

Union supports the work of the WIC program in helping breastfeeding families meet their goals and now offers college credits to WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors who qualify. Union offers 36 credit hours, in the form of free electives, to WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors. The credits count toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation.

Union and The OhioHealth Milk Bank continue their partnership.

Union’s Cincinnati headquarters continues to serve as a milk drop site for the  Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region through its partnership with  OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank (OHMMB). The drop site provides a convenient location for lactating women to donate their milk. Union personnel collects the donor’s milk and holds it for pick-up by OhioHealth, which helps save the lives of infants born premature, ill, or under life-threatening conditions.

Dr. Akers explains the reward of choosing a career that makes a difference.

“Our students and faculty are passionate about a career that positively makes a difference in their lives, the lives of families, their communities, and the world at large.”

If you want to make a difference in the lives of families, visit the Union’s Bachelor of Science in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation degree or the Master of Arts in Human Lactation Studies degree.