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Labette Health Qualifies for Renewal as High 5 for Mom & Baby Hospital

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hospital news

PARSONS, KANSAS – Labette Health has met the requirements and received renewal of its High 5 for Mom & Baby status.

The High 5 program incorporates specific maternity care procedures based on the proven health benefits associated with breastfeeding. It was initiated, funded, and is provided at no charge to Kansas hospitals by the Hutchinson-based United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. High 5 for Mom & Baby was developed by the Health Fund in conjunction with the Kansas Breastfeeding Workgroup.

“The OB staff has worked hard to achieve this renewal,” said Sharon Roberts, OB Director. “We understand the magnitude of promoting bonding and breastfeeding with all of our patients, including C-section deliveries. If babies are stable, they stay with the mother throughout the C-section and recovery.”

To qualify for the annual renewal, Labette Health fulfilled five criteria: completion of the Hospital Self-Assessment with performance ratings of 80% or better throughout; submission of any updated hospital policies pertaining to the High 5 practices; having a staff member who is an International Board of Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC), or having applied for/used the High 5 for Mom & Baby educational support for employee advancement toward becoming an IBCLC; and employee participation in, or review of, a minimum of four High 5 webinars.

In announcing the renewal, High 5 Program Coordinator Gwen Whittit, RN, IBCLC, commended Labette Health: “You are providing moms and babies in your community with numerous health benefits which will last a lifetime. Your ongoing commitment to excellence in maternity care as a recognized High 5 hospital reassures parents planning to breastfeed that they will be in the best possible hands.”

Whittit reiterated that research indicates a link between not breastfeeding and increased health risks for a baby including high blood pressure, type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Studies also show a definite correlation to childhood and adolescent obesity for those who were not breastfed.

In addition, according to Whittit, mothers derive health benefits including a decreased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

The five best practices comprising the High 5 for Mom & Baby standards are: assuring immediate sustained skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth; giving newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated; allowing “rooming in” so mothers and infants can remain together 24 hours a day; not giving pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants; and providing mothers options for breastfeeding support in the community.

“I want to thank administration and the board for their endorsement as well as High 5 for Mom & Baby for their education and continued support,” said Roberts.