Mount lecture examines breastfeeding rates for new mothers

December 06, 2016

Yasmine Kalkstein, associate professor of psychology at Mount Saint Mary College. 


Yasmine Kalkstein, associate professor of psychology at Mount Saint Mary College, recently presented “Nurse Education Matters! Increasing Breastfeeding Rates,” part of the college’s Investigating Research on Campus (iROC) series.

Kalkstein discussed research she and one of her senior students undertook at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh. The project was developed in partnership with Jeanne Boydston, director of the Birth Center at St. Luke’s.

Data was collected before and after nurses were sent to become certified lactation counselors. According to Kalkstein, the education seemed to create a cultural shift in the hospital, changing the perception, knowledge, and attitudes of nurses and patients regarding breastfeeding.

Currently an associate professor of psychology at the Mount, Kalkstein holds master’s and doctoral degrees in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota. Kalkstein’s work in recent years has delved into medical decision-making. Her initial collaboration with St. Luke's led to a service project called It Takes a Village where more than 2,000 children's books and educational materials were distributed to new mothers.

The goal of iROC is to “provide a forum for Mount faculty, staff and students to showcase their research endeavors with both Mount Saint Mary College and the local community in a manner easily understood by attendees,” explained series coordinators Evan Merkhofer, assistant professor of biology, and Jennifer Park, assistant librarian for access and outreach services. Presentations include research proposals, initial data collection, and completed research projects.

Mount Saint Mary College is ranked a Top-Tier University by U.S. News & World Report, and offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for careers in healthcare, business, education, social services, communications, media, and the liberal arts.