Visitors and employees at the Jewish General Hospital will notice a new look in the lounge area near the hospital’s main entrance. Along with colourful seating, the space now includes the JGH’s first designated room for breastfeeding mothers.
The lounge runs alongside the passageway between the JGH’s Côte-Ste-Catherine Road entrance and the food court in Carrefour Lea Polansky. Thanks to the Technical Services team of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, the space has been reconfigured into a comfortable retreat where staff can gather for informal meetings, and visitors can take time to relax.
“We wanted to create a space where families could get together, but also where employees could take advantage of a collaborative work area,” says David Gadoua, Building Technician with Technical Services. He oversaw the upgrade, whose funding came out of the Pavilion K project budget.
The furniture’s vibrant colours were designed to blend in with the Peace of Mind mural, which was unveiled by the JGH Foundation along one wall of the lounge last year.
Another highlight of the lounge is an enclosed room created specifically for breastfeeding mothers. It’s part of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal’s campaign to be designated “Baby Friendly” by facilitating breastfeeding at all its sites by 2024.
“Breastfeeding is encouraged everywhere in the CIUSSS. But we wanted a dedicated room to offer more privacy if needed,” says Chloé Décarie-Drolet, Head Nurse in the Post-Partum Unit of the JGH and a member of the CIUSSS’s breastfeeding committee.Until now, some mothers have been unable to find a private spot at the hospital for breastfeeding, so they end up retreating to a bathroom, Ms. Décarie-Drolet says. “We wanted to create a calm and private space.”
The CIUSSS adopted a breastfeeding policy last year with the goal of obtaining accreditation as Baby Friendly. The strategy fits into the Baby Friendly Initiative launched by the World Health Organization and UNICEF in 1991 to improve breastfeeding rates around the world. Aside from facilitating breastfeeding, the 10 steps required for accreditation include training staff and encouraging mothers to practice skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery.
“There is compelling evidence showing that breastfeeding has a positive impact on the health of both babies and mothers,” Ms. Décarie-Drolet says.