Summa’s Best Fed Beginnings team.
With recent developments in healthcare delivery as Dr. Viv blogged about previously, we find ourselves going back to the basics of how to keep mothers and babies healthy. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers – there are even ways to make it work as a working mom.
For infants, breastfeeding decreases the incidence and severity of many infectious diseases, reduces infant mortality, and optimally supports neurodevelopment. Breastfeeding also decreases an infant’s risk of becoming obese later in childhood.
Short- and long-term benefits to mothers who breastfeed include decreased risks of breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.
The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ), with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is leading a nationwide effort in close partnership with Baby-Friendly USA to help hospitals improve maternity care and increase the number of Baby-Friendly hospitals in the United States. Baby-Friendly hospitals use evidence-based care processes that most effectively support all mothers to be able to carry out their own infant feeding intentions and decisions.
Summa Health System is one of only 90 hospitals in the United States selected to participate in the Best Fed Beginnings project and work toward Baby-Friendly designation. Only six hospitals in Ohio, with Summa being the only hospital in Summit County, were selected to participate.
This learning collaborative will assist Summa to make System-level changes in support of pursuing Baby-Friendly designation. Even though NICHQ’s grant from the CDC is helping Summa with these changes, our Summa leadership is matching the CDC’s efforts to ensure a full Baby-Friendly implementation. You can help too, just write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for ways you can help.
By participating in this collaborative, we will be able to offer better care and support to all the mothers and babies who deliver at Summa hospitals, especially the breastfeeding families. Participation in this project will enable us to improve our policies and practices in regards to infant feeding, incorporating the latest evidence-based practices.
Families who deliver their babies at Summa hospitals can be confident that they are receiving the latest and most evidence based care for their families!