Neighborhood Family Practice midwives help patients succeed in breast feeding efforts


Along with provided a full range of primary care services for women of all ages and stages of life from adolescence through menopause, the certified nurse midwives of Neighborhood Family Practice have been focusing some of their efforts on improving the breastfeeding rates among their patients, with added focus on minority patients.


“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of babies born in the U.S. for whom breastfeeding was initiated in 2019 was just over 80%. It was 73.5% in Black women, and even lower in Black women in Ohio, at 68.8%,” says Lauren Lasko, APRN, CNP, IBCLC, an NFP nurse who is also a certified lactation consultant. “At NFP, our breastfeeding initiation rate – meaning a newborn is put to the breast within one hour of birth – among Black patients in 2021 was 92%.”


Lauren works with the NFP midwives to promote breastfeeding by educating expectant and new parents about its benefits which include reduced risk of things like asthma, obesity and Type 1 diabetes in babies and reduced risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and different cancers in mothers. Lasko also helps with issues like milk supply, sore nipples and breastfeeding positions.


“We want the best for our all of our patients, and with the proven benefits of breastfeeding, one of our goals has been to increase the number of them who attempt to breastfeed their baby,” says Katy Maistros, APRN, CNM, NFP’s associate medical director of midwifery services. “Because the number of Black mothers who initiate breastfeeding is even lower in Ohio and nationally, we’ve focused even more effort on them. While there is still much work to be done to support our patients in this area, the results we’ve achieved are remarkable and are giving us added incentive to keep doing what we’re doing.”


About Neighborhood Family Practice


Founded in 1980 in response to a concern that residents of Cleveland’s near west side lacked access to primary health care, Neighborhood Family Practice focuses on providing high quality primary care in the patient’s neighborhood setting. Today, its seven public-transit friendly locations offer same-day appointments to a service area that spans twelve neighborhoods across Cleveland’s west side and Lakewood.  Neighborhood Family Practice serves a highly diverse mix of residents with a mission of partnering with the community for everyone’s best health. Accredited by The Joint Commission and designated as a Primary Care Medical Home, Neighborhood Family Practice provides primary care, women’s health and midwifery services, behavioral health, pharmacy, dental and case management appointments to more than 22,000 patients at its combined locations. For more information, visit




OCHIN’s HCCN is a growing learning health system of 96 community health centers serving more than 5 million patients across 12 states. Participating health centers benefit from OCHIN’s years of health IT expertise through customized training and technical assistance to optimize clinical care, operations, financial stability, and workforce satisfaction. Together, OCHIN’s HCCN works to advance health equity so that all people have access to quality affordable health care.

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