A grant from the Minnesota Department of Health allowed Dr. Jennifer DeJong, nursing, to better share information on lactation with nursing students and healthcare providers.
Nursing students and healthcare providers now have better access to information on breastfeeding thanks to a curriculum written by Dr. Jennifer Bailey DeJong, associate professor of nursing.
She wrote the curriculum as part of an obesity grant from the Minnesota Department of Health.
The curriculum educates nursing students on lactation so they may provide evidence-based care to the clients and communities they serve, DeJong says.
“When students, nurses and physicians are educated about the short- and long-term benefits of breastfeeding – when they see the evidence in research studies – they are convinced that promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding is a way to reduce disease and obesity,” DeJong says.
After implementing the curriculum at Concordia, nursing students scored higher in their assessment of breastfeeding knowledge and their confidence in caring for breastfeeding women.
In addition to the curriculum, the grant funded expert speakers on lactation. It also funded an analysis of the need for lactation education and perceptions regarding it. As a result, medical doctors, and nurses in hospitals, clinics and public health programs attained information typically only available at costly conferences, DeJong says.
The curriculum will be shared on the Minnesota Department of Health website and through public health agencies that have Statewide Health Improvement Program funds to distribute information on reducing obesity and disease.
“It is an exciting time to be in lactation education, and I look forward to the years to come as more research is done – and more strides are made in the field,” DeJong says.
DeJong’s breastfeeding curriculum can be found on the MDH website.