Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Labette Health has enhanced its maternity care based on the proven health benefits associated with breastfeeding, and became the 29th hospital in Kansas to receive the "High 5 for Mom & Baby" award. The High 5 program—initiated, funded, and provided at no charge to Kansas hospitals by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund—is based on five key hospital practices crucial for a successful breastfeeding experience:
- Assure immediate and sustained skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth.
- Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- Practice "rooming in"—allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
- Provide mothers options for breastfeeding support in the community (such as a telephone number, walk-in clinic information, support groups, etc.) upon discharge.
High 5 Program Coordinator, Gwen Whittit, presented the award to the OB nursing staff and physicians during a recent ceremony. "Labette Health has been working hard to achieve this recognition and this dedication will prove to be beneficial for moms and babies within the community," said Whittit.
Studies also show a definite correlation to childhood and adolescent obesity for those who were not breastfed. Mothers also derive health benefits, said Whittit, noting that those who breastfeed have a decreased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.
"Much work went into this by the OB nursing staff and we are excited to receive this recognition," said Rebecca Helwig, OB/Nursery Director. "We understand the importance of promoting bonding and breastfeeding with all of patients, including C-section deliveries. If babies are stable, they stay with mom throughout C-section and recovery. I want to thank administration and the board for their support as well as "High Five for Mom and Baby for all of their education and advice through this achievement."
Labette Health maternity program is also designated as one of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.