A Best Fed Beginning

by Guest Blogger on August 1, 2012 · 1 comment

in Pregnancy & Childbirth

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.

Summa’s Best Fed Beginnings team. Summa’s Best Fed Beginnings team.

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 fosterj@summahealth.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!

Jennifer Foster, BSN, RN, IBCLC
Lactation Consultant, Summa Women’s Health Services
Summa Health System

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Amy Burkett August 3, 2012 at 11:11 am

As a new Mom, I was excited to learn that my health insurance company would help cover the costs of an electric breast pump!! Apparently, they understand my baby will likely be healthier and have less visits to the pediatrician if I can continue to give her breastmilk after returning to work too! I would encourage all women to check with their insurance provider because I had no idea this was possible until my wonderful lactation consultant suggested it.

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