Network Stories

Loaning Breast Pumps to Support Mothers and Infants

Mercy Hospital St. Louis has received grant funding through VON’s Take Action to Follow Through program to confront challenges to breastfeeding faced by minority mothers and those less financially fortunate with a baby in the NICU.

The funding award will help the NICU team establish a breast pump loaner program, which will provide hospital grade breast pumps for any mother whose infant would benefit. The program will also emphasize education, referrals to community resources, and a peer-mentoring program around lactation and breast-pumping issues.

This project utilizes many of the Potentially Better Practices for Follow Through (PBPs) to address the social needs of families in the NICU and beyond. Mercy Hospital St. Louis is participating in the VON quality improvement collaborative, iNICQ Improving Critical Transitions, which supports addressing issues of health equity and supports ongoing improvement of initiatives such as the new breast pump loan program. The team will regularly seek feedback from the mothers of minority populations and lower socioeconomic status to adapt and improve these services, and will present on this project as part of the improvement collaborative.

The Take Action to Follow Through grant program supports the development of innovative programs that confront health inequities and that can spread across our community of practice. The PBPs at the core of the grant program are central to the VON Improving Critical Transitions collaboratives – NICQ and iNICQ – focusing on improving processes and practices in the care of all infants and families, and teams participating in the collaboratives are eligible to apply for funding.