I am the I in IWK -Deanna Doucette, Lactation Consultant Nurse

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Deanna Doucette started her nursing career as a bedside RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the IWK. In 2013 she became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and began working as Lactation Consultant Nurse (LCN) in the NICU shortly after.

Doucette spends her day participating in interdisciplinary rounds, creating individualized feeding plans based on families’ feeding goals and providing in person consultations. Making sure that the IWK’s smallest patients and their families have their feeding goals met upon discharge is Doucette’s top priority.

“It’s important that families leave the NICU having felt that their feeding goals were met,” says Doucette. “This will set them up for success with their feeding journey. As Lactation Consultant Nurse, my goal with the team is to make sure we are providing families with the best support to help them achieve and maintain these goals for hospital and for home.”

In her role as one of three LCNs in the NICU, Doucette has also helped advance care and improve breastfeeding practices at the IWK. She collects human milk data and has, together with her LCN colleagues, rolled out a cue-based feeding initiative specific to the NICU. This work was presented at the EPIQ Conference in Banff earlier this year.

During her work in NICU, Doucette has also been a part of internal advances, such as the IWK’s Baby-Friendly designation in 2018. This global program of UNICEF and the World Health Organization works with the health services to improve practice so that parents are enabled and supported to make informed choices about how they feed and care for their babies.

“I am proud of the work I do at the IWK and of the relationships I have built with families,” says Doucette. “I especially enjoy providing education and assistance to new breastfeeding mothers. It is nice to feel valued for the knowledge you can provide.”

World Breastfeeding Week (October 1-7) is held every year around the world to celebrate, inform, engage and invigorate passion around breastfeeding and related issues publicly and politically. This year at IWK Health and Nova Scotia Health we are highlighting the experience of breastfeeding throughout a global pandemic. Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life nutritionally and emotionally, and provides food security for infants. Now more than ever breastfeeding needs to be promoted and protected.

Join us in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2020