As Missouri’s first Baby-Friendly™ facility, the Chris Coons Women’s Care Center at Hannibal Regional Hospital has been recognized by the Missouri Department of Health as the state experts on breastfeeding and asked to share their expertise with other hospitals in the state. By sharing their knowledge, the Chris Coons Women’s Care Center team is supporting national goals of improving the health of U.S. citizens. The U.S. Surgeon General, as well as a White House Task Force and the U.S. government’s Healthy People 2020 objectives have called for more education regarding the benefits of breastfeeding in order to foster healthier communities.
In order to achieve the stringent Baby-Friendly designation, the Chris Coons Women’s Care Center improved breastfeeding initiation rates from 62% to 75%, and the rate continues to climb. A recent CDC survey ranks Hannibal Regional Hospital’s infant feeding care practices as better than 97% of all birth facilities nationwide. Patient satisfaction rates have increased as well through support for new breastfeeding moms and their families.
The Baby-Friendly designation is awarded following completion of a rigorous on-site survey. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.
Ten Steps for Successful Breastfeeding:
- Family quiet time from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily
- Education for parents to learn how to calm their crying infant with the five S’s: Swaddling, Side/Stomach Position, Shushing Sounds, Swinging, Sucking
- Updates to education materials
- Redesign of Childbirth Education classes to reflect family-centered maternity care
- Breast Feeding Support Line and weekly breastfeeding support groups held on Monday nights and Wednesday mornings
- Designation of a lactation room for all breastfeeding mothers
Studies have shown that breastfeeding translates to better health for both babies and mothers and health benefits persist throughout life. Babies who are breastfed have fewer and less serious illnesses, including a reduced risk of SIDS and less childhood cancer and diabetes. Mothers who breastfeed enjoy decreased risks of breast and ovarian cancer, anemia, and osteoporosis.
Baby-Friendly USA is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The CDC reports that less than 2% of hospitals providing birthing services in the United States are Baby-Friendly designated. Hannibal Regional Hospital is now among this elite group. Currently there are fewer than 100 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States.
For more information regarding the Chris Coons Women’s Care Center at Hannibal Regional Hospital and services provided, please call 573-248-5170.