Mercedes Thomas, CPNP, IBCLC

Maternal-Infant Health Gone Digital: The Importance of Educational Content that Engages and Educates

Mercedes Thomas is a mother, wife, board certified pediatric nurse practitioner (CPNP), author, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). As a new mother she’s gone through many of the things that new parents face which is why it’s her mission to combine her nursing expertise with her experiences as a mom to support families with modern, evidence-based education and resources by working directly with patients and organizations.

Mercedes has over 13 years of experience in nursing including neonatal and advanced pediatric health in both the hospital and primary care settings. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and with her Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of South Alabama.

In her downtime, you can find her spending time with family, traveling, and advocating at the local and national level for families to have the best access to equitable, quality healthcare and breastfeeding services!

Session Summary:

There’s no secret that Black maternal-infant mortality and breastfeeding rates in the U.S. are shameful. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic left even more birthing parents to find for themselves and to lean on social media for support and “Dr. Google” to find the answers to the problems that plagued them. 

What if maternal-infant health professionals and healthcare providers could help turn the negatives of social distancing into positives? What if part of the solution to the dismal infant mortality statistics and breastfeeding rates for Black babies was dissemination of quality digital health content online? 

This presentation will explore the use of content creation as a means to engage, educate and advocate for marginalized families. It will also, taking a dive deeper into the health disparities that exist and the high stakes involved for families who lack resources and support. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the leading causes of infant mortality in the United States.
  2. Explain how digital health content and engagement tools can potentially lead to improved maternal-infant health outcomes.
  3. State the current Healthy People 2030 measures related to breastfeeding and infant health.