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The Birth of the GEMs Group

Implementation of Breastfeeding Peer Support in a Children's Hospital

Kristoff, Kimberly C. RN, CBC; Wessner, Rosie BSN, RNC-NIC, CBC; Spatz, Diane L. PhD, RN-BC, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000065
Professional Growth and Development

The need to support and promote breastfeeding is unquestionable. The World Breastfeeding Week 2013 theme, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers,” focuses on “breastfeeding peer counseling.” Mother support groups are traditionally community-based and little is published about peer-to-peer support for mothers who have critically ill newborns. This study describes the development of a support group established in a children's hospital. The Group of Empowered Mothers focuses on a unique population of mothers (those with critically ill hospitalized infants) and involves 3 basic tenets: healthcare provider support; mother-to-mother support; and Certified Breastfeeding Consultant Support.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Mss Kristoff and Wessner), and School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the Lactation Program, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Dr Spatz), Pennsylvania.

Correspondence: Kimberly C. Kristoff, RN, CBC, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3400 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses