Nurse Currents: Human Milk: Composition and Benefits for the Breastfeeding Dyad

Program Date: August 2014
Continuing Education Units: Nurse 1.0 Contact Hour

Course Description:

Feeding human milk to human babies is an evidence-based practice. Research supports the concept that human milk is: 1) the best milk for human babies; 2) a unique and dynamic fluid that meets the specific needs of the full term newborn infant; and 3) promotes healthy growth and development through the first year of life and beyond. While US breastfeeding rates are slowly climbing upward there is still much work to be done to reach the Healthy People 2020 goals. It is essential that all health professionals who work with mothers and newborns be educated about the composition of human milk, short- and long-term benefits for both mother and baby, and practical support techniques for the breastfeeding dyad. As the most trusted of healthcare providers, nurses have a vital role as supporters and promoters of breastfeeding in their workplace and communities.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe differences in the composition of human colostrum, transitional, mature and involutional milk.
  • Identify benefits of breastfeeding for infants.
  • Identify benefits of breastfeeding for mothers.
  • Media Format(s): Print (English)

Course Instructor Bio(s)

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Kimberly M. Kopfman, MS, RD, LD, CLC


Kimberly Kopfman, MS, RD, LD, CLC is a graduate student at The Ohio State University College of Nursing completing coursework to obtain a Master of Science degree in nursing. Ms. Kopfman graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelors and masters degree in human nutrition in 2003. She obtained her certification as a lactation consultant in 2006 from the Healthy Children’s Center for Breasfeeding. In 2008 she received a Certificate of Training in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Ms. Kopfman has worked at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus Ohio as a clinical dietitian in the areas of pediatric endocrinology, cardiology, and infection in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Kimberly worked in the public sector at the the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) WIC program providing high level nutrition consultation, developing advanced nutrition education offerings, managing the infant and pediatric formularies, maintaining the WIC food offerings, and review and consultation of WIC grantee agencies. She also lead the ODH Maternal and Child Health Block grant for the surviellance of childhood obesity in the WIC program. In 2012 she chose to pursue her dream of a career in nursing where she could combine her passions for pediatric nutrition and nursing. She anticipates graduating in the summer 2015 as an advanced practice nurse with specialities in pediatrics and childhood mental health.

Sandra L. Gardner, RN, MS, CNS, PNP


Sandra L Gardner, RN, MS, CNS, PNP is Director of Professional Outreach Consultation, a national and international consulting firm established in 1980. Ms Gardner has worked in perinatal/neonatal/pediatric care since 1967 as a clinician, practitioner, teacher, consultant and author. In 1974 Sandy was the first Perinatal Outreach Educator funded by the March of Dimes and traveled in Colorado and the seven surrounding states teaching nurses and physicians to recognize and stabilize premature and sick newborns. Ms Gardner is Senior Editor of Merenstein and Gardner’s Handbook of Neonatal Intensive Care, ed 7, 2011. Three editions of the Handbook (1985, 2002, 2011) have won the American Journal of Nursing’s Book of the Year Award. Sandy has co-edited Legal Aspects of Maternal-Child Nursing Practice, 1997 and is the Editor of Nurse Currents and NICU Currents.


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