Abstract Information


Motherhood after spinal cord injury: lactation, breastfeeding and autonomic dysreflexia: knowledge to practice

1Lee A, 2Elliott S, 3Hocaloski S, 4Hodge K, 1Krassioukov A
1International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 2University of British Columbia, BC Centre for Sexual Medicine, Vancouver Sperm Retrieval Clinic, Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Clinic, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 3GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 4Sunny Hill Health Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Type: Best Practice Panel

This course will focus on education for health care professionals by delivering recent findings and disseminating evidence-based guidelines for postpartum care in mothers with SCI, specifically regarding lactation and breastfeeding. After collaborating with an expert panel of health care professionals, researchers and women with lived experience, we developed clinical recommendations for facilitating lactation and managing SCI-related barriers to breastfeeding to improve outcomes. These recommendations target the major complications identified for and by mothers with SCI and include milk production difficulties, breastfeeding complications due to mobility issues, activities of daily living, independent living, personal care, psychological wellbeing and the prevention and management of autonomic dysreflexia. This course aims to advance education of care providers by disseminating these findings and guidelines with reference to clinical scenarios and research evidence. Course content will include results of cross-sectional studies funded by the Craig Neilsen Foundation, which formed the foundation for these recommendations by evaluating breastfeeding and quality of life in an international sample of women with SCI. Principles of breastfeeding after SCI, major complications and management of issues such as autonomic dysreflexia will be discussed with reference to differences in completeness and level of SCI. The course will conclude with a discussion of how these guidelines compare to current practice and how these recommendations can be implemented to empower mothers with SCI, foster patient-caretaker dialogue and advance clinical practice to facilitate breastfeeding success and improve quality of life for mother and child.

Draft Agenda:
0:00 - 0:10 - Pre-course questionnaire: Introduction and baseline knowledge evaluation on health of women with SCI, pregnancy, breastfeeding (Dr. Andrei Krassioukov)
0:10 - 0:20 - Demographics of SCI, principles and dangers of Autonomic Dysreflexia, evidence-based management strategies (Dr. Krassioukov)
0:20 - 0:35 - Breastfeeding with SCI: key complications in milk production and breastfeeding ability (Karen Hodge)
0:35 - 0:45 - Women's sexual health and autonomic dysfunction - principles and evidence (Dr. Stacy Elliott)
0:45 - 0:55 - Concerns and SCI-related challenges for prospective mothers and postpartum health - current clinical practices(Shea Hocaloski)
0:55 - 0:65 - Evidence-based recommendations for best practice for breastfeeding following SCI (Amanda Lee)
0:65 - 0:80 - Panel discussions and questions (Dr. Krassioukov - Leader; Dr. Elliott, Shea, Karen, Amanda - Discussants)
0:80 - 0:90 - Discussion followed by post-course questionnaire: evaluation of workshop effectiveness and knowledge after workshop (Dr. Krassioukov)


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