Richland Hospital CEO, Steven Nockerts welcomed attendees to the “Baby Friendly” celebration at the Richland Hospital on August 1st in the hospital’s lobby. Seven years ago staff went to Nockerts to propose that the hospital pursue this designation. “I was excited that the staff wanted to pursue this,” Nockerts said. “Only 7 other hospitals in the state have this designation.”
An international program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is designed to encourage and acknowledge hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for mothers who choose to breastfeed.
“‘Baby Friendly’ designation is another example of the Richland Hospital continuing to look for ways to provide high quality care to patients,” Nockerts said. “We are dedicated to helping all mothers and newborns with the tools and support they need to be successful.”
Following Nockerts, Dr. Andrew Wright talked a little about his experiences delivering babies and his thoughts on the “Baby Friendly” designation. Dr. Wright has had special training in high risk pregnancies and c-section deliveries.
“I have delivered babies in Malawi,” Dr. Wright said. “Breastfeeding is always our first step. It gives babies the best start. It is exciting to see our staff here at Richland Hospital working to provide the best for our moms and babies.”
Dr. Wright talked about the extra training that the Birth Center staff underwent to help moms and babies. “Of the four hospital’s that I have delivered babies at, this is definitely the best Birth Center staff that I have ever worked with,” Dr. Wright said.
Cindy Hanold is the Director of Nursing at the Richland Hospital. She talked about the original goal of becoming “Baby Friendly” and what it would take to earn the designation. “It was a very beneficial journey really,” Hanold said. “In looking at our policies and procedures, we found that there were great support elements that helped all moms and families to have a better experience.”
“One direct result of the “Baby Friendly” journey is how we protect the bonding time for the families following delivery,” Hanold said. “Moms and dads are given quiet time to bond skin to skin with their new infant.”
The Richland Hospital, Inc. is the 7th hospital in Wisconsin to earn “Baby Friendly” designation. It is one of just 114 in the United States to earn the designation as well.
Barb Nimocks, Richland Hospital (RH) Birth Center Unit Coordinator; Kay Cunningham, Richland County Public Health Nurse; Dr. Andrew Wright, RH Birth Center Chief of Staff; Steven Nockerts, Richland Hospital CEO; Mary Jo Coleman, RH Certified Lactation Consultant; Connie Tracy, RH Certified Lactation Consultant; and Cindy Hanold, RH Director of Nursing.