Thursday, July 22, 2010

What does it mean to be a Baby-Friendly hospital?

Baby Friendly? What does that really mean? It is hard to believe that it has been one year since our designation as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford is one of only 5 hospitals in Texas to receive this recognition, and all five hospitals are within the Texas Health Resources System! To add to this accomplishment, nationwide only 86 hospitals are designated as Baby Friendly nationwide.

Since full implementation at Texas Health HEB, we have seen many benefits for our new families.
• Offering rooming-in throughout the stay has allowed parents to become the expert on their baby, and contributed to better prepared new parents at discharge.
• Babies are being breastfed on demand, and therefore we have seen increase in milk volumes in our breastfeeding mothers as early as 36-48 hours postpartum.
• With the increase in breastmilk, our breastfed babies are losing less weight, regaining birth weight more quickly and we have data showing decrease in readmission to the hospital related to jaundice.

While the impact we’ve seen has been great, our real focus all along has been the family.

We are consistently providing early skin-to-skin holding, newborn bath in Labor and Delivery suite, support and education for parenting in the patient’s room, day and night, and our uninterrupted “nap-time” from 1-4pm daily.

The response of patients has been great! Those that have delivered here previously, and had a wonderful experience, state this “is even better.” New families are getting the best of birthing experiences.

We are so proud of the designation and continue to work each day at making the patient and family experience one of great joy!

Laura Burnett, RN, BSN
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Nursing Supervisor, Women's Services
Texas Health HEB

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