KishHealth System is on its way to becoming “Baby-Friendly” with the help of the DeKalb County Health Department. The partnership is helping Kishwaukee Community Hospital, DeKalb, and Valley West Community Hospital, Sandwich, pursue Baby-Friendly Hospital designation through Baby-Friendly Hospital funding for We Choose Health communities. Achieving Baby-Friendly designation is one of KishHealth System’s Community Benefit Initiatives based on the Community Health Needs Assessment, a collaborative project of the DeKalb County Health Department and the health system.
Tami Johnson, clinical nurse leader for KishHealth Maternity Suites, said, “We feel very fortunate that Kishwaukee Community Hospital and Valley West Community Hospital have been selected to participate in this wonderful project. Although both hospitals already have many baby-friendly practices in place, this program will assist us in developing even more evidenced-based practices and policies. There are currently only three Baby-Friendly hospitals in Illinois, and we’re excited about the improvements we can implement so the mothers in our communities can receive even more support while breastfeeding.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants are fed breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life and continue to breastfeed for a year with the addition of solid foods and then as long as is mutually desired by mom and baby. Some of the many benefits of breastfeeding in babies are a decreased risk of obesity in childhood, fewer ear infections and colds, and reduced risks of SIDS, childhood cancers, and diabetes. Moms who breastfeed also enjoy decreased risks of breast and ovarian cancers, anemia and osteoporosis, as well as a faster recovery from labor and delivery than moms who don’t breastfeed. Both mother and baby enjoy the emotional benefits of a special and close relationship formed through breastfeeding. At KishHealth System hospitals, moms and babies receive breastfeeding support, education and counseling in the hospital and after they go home in the Breastfeeding Center at Kish Hospital and through the Mom’s Breastfeeding Support Group.
To achieve Baby Friendly designation, the hospital must adhere to the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” that consist of evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration. KishHealth System is receiving funding to assist with the process of becoming Baby-Friendly. A We Choose Health Initiative grant was awarded to the DeKalb County Health Department by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Through this We Choose Health grant, the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP) is assisting 14 hospitals initiate the Baby-Friendly hospital process and become Baby-Friendly by 2016. ICAAP is offering $11,000 in funding to provide support and education for chosen hospitals through Sept. 29, 2013. The DeKalb County Health Department invited the hospitals to apply for funding, and both Kish Hospital and Valley West Hospital were awarded the grant.
The title of “Baby-Friendly” may only be used when a facility has been assessed by Baby-Friendly USA, approved by the External Review Board, and the CEO has received the letter from Baby-Friendly USA indicating the facility has been designated, a process that can take several years to complete. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program initiated in 1991 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to recognize hospitals offering quality bonding and breastfeeding support to mothers and babies.
According to Baby-Friendly USA, “Hospitals that receive Baby-Friendly designation report an increase in breastfeeding rates, both in the hospital and after discharge. Mothers who deliver at Baby-Friendly hospitals report greater satisfaction with their overall birth and breastfeeding experience. Increased breastfeeding rates mean better health outcomes for mothers and babies. The Baby-Friendly Initiative outlines specific steps and requirements that must be completed and demonstrated in an on-site assessment.”
KishHealth System and DeKalb County Health Department plan to collaborate to achieve desired health outcomes that result from breastfeeding. The health department provides nutrition education and support to new families in their Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Family Case Management programs. Enhanced staff development, including Lactation Consultant certification, and a new “Mom’s Room” for comfortable breastfeeding will enhance support for moms in the postpartum period and beyond. Both entities are enthusiastic about a consistent community approach that has the potential for a greater positive impact on breastfeeding rates and duration.
KishHealth to Present Program on Progress in Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
Paula Hobson, MD, obstetrician/gynecologist, and Karen Federici, MD, IBCLC, family practice physician, will lead “Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Panel Discussion,” on Aug. 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Kish Hospital’s Roberts Conference Center. The presentation focuses on Kish Hospital’s progress in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and why it’s important for the health of the community. The program also features Judy Bergsmith, RN, IBCLC; Tami Johnson, RNC, MS; and Jennifer Kleckner, RN, LCCE, IBCLC. To register, please call 815.748.8962.
About KishHealth System
KishHealth System provides services to the greater DeKalb County area in northern Illinois. The system is comprised of two non-profit community hospitals and several other non-profit healthcare providers. Health system entities include Kishwaukee Community Hospital, DeKalb; Valley West Community Hospital, Sandwich; The Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Community Hospital, The Cancer Center at Valley West Community Hospital, DeKalb County Hospice, The Center for Family Health, KishHealth Foundation, and KishHealth Physician Group with locations in DeKalb, Sandwich, Genoa and Plano. The vision of KishHealth System is to be the best place for employees to work, the best place for physicians to practice and, most of all, the best place for patients to receive care.
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