Richland Hospital Achieves “Baby-Friendly” (Breastfeeding Friendly) Designation
Richland Hospital is one of just 10 hospitals in WI certified as Baby-Friendly (Breastfeeding Friendly). Baby Friendly USA explains the designation as follows:
“The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.
It recognizes and awards birthing facilities who successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (i) and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (ii). The BFHI assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.
Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based, maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding outcomes and mother/baby bonding. It compels facilities to examine, challenge and modify longstanding policies and procedures. It requires training and skill building among all levels of staff. It entails implementing audit processes to assure quality in all aspects of maternity care operations. The journey is exciting, challenging, and worth it! It creates opportunities to develop high performance work teams and build leadership skills among staff, promotes employee pride, enhances patient satisfaction and improves health outcomes.”
– Baby Friendly USA, August 1, 2014
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding offers an unmatched beginning for children.
Providing infants with human milk gives them the most complete nutrition possible. Human milk provides the optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies necessary for each baby to thrive. Scientific studies have shown us that breastfed children have far fewer and less serious illnesses than those who never receive breast milk, including a reduced risk of SIDS, childhood cancers, and diabetes.
Mothers who breastfeed are healthier.
Recent studies show that women who breastfeed enjoy decreased risks of breast and ovarian cancer, anemia, and osteoporosis. They are empowered by their ability to provide complete nourishment for their babies. Both mother and baby enjoy the emotional benefits of the very special and close relationship formed through breastfeeding.
Families who breastfeed save money.
In addition to the fact that breast milk is free, breastfeeding provides savings on health care costs and related time lost to care for sick children. Because breastfeeding saves money, fathers feel less financial pressure and take pride in knowing they are able to give their babies the very best.
Communities reap the benefits of breastfeeding.
Research shows that there is less absenteeism from work among breastfeeding families. Resources used to feed those in need can be stretched further when mothers choose to give their babies the gift of their own milk rather than a costly artificial substitute. Less tax money is required to provide assistance to properly feed children. Families who breastfeed have more money available to purchase goods and services, thereby benefiting the local economy. Research also shows that breastfed babies have higher IQ scores, as well as better brain and nervous system development. When babies are breastfed, both mother and baby are healthier throughout their lives. This translates to lower health care costs and a reduced financial burden on families and third party payers, as well on community and government medical programs.
The environment benefits when babies are breastfed.
Scientists agree that breast milk is still the very best way to nourish babies, and may even protect babies from some of the effects of pollution. Breastfeeding uses none of the tin, paper, plastic, or energy necessary for preparing, packaging, and transporting artificial baby milks. Since there is no waste in breastfeeding, each breastfed baby cuts down on pollution and garbage disposal problems. In addition, research shows that exclusive breastfeeding naturally spaces pregnancies.
Adapted from Did You Know Breastfeeding Makes a Difference? La Leche League, the International Lactation Consultant Association, the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy and Baby Friendly USA; The Importance of Breastfeeding. – August 1, 2014
Richland Hospital Birth Center & Lactation Clinic
Pictured below, Mary Jo Coleman (second from left) and Dr. Jillian Scherer (second from right) are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). Connie Tracy (at left) and Judy Martin (at right) are Certified Lactation Educators. All the members of the Birth Center team have had specialized training.
Board Certified Lactation Consultants help mothers and babies get off to a great start, find solutions when concerns arise, and answer questions mothers often have about feeding their babies. They can show you how to:
- Position and latch your baby
- Help you breastfeed after a c-section
- Make sure you make plenty of milk
- Breastfeed more than one baby
- Prevent most breastfeeding concerns
- Find solutions if breastfeeding is uncomfortable or not working well at first
- Breastfeed a premature baby, or a baby with special needs
- Use a breast pump
- Breastfeed even when your baby is sick
- Breastfeed after you return to work or school
- Feel confident that you can breastfeed for as long as you and your baby want
– International Lactation Consultant Association, August 1, 2014
Milkin’ Mamas – Breast Feeding Support Group
A Southwest Wisconsin Breastfeeding support group helping educate moms about breastfeeding and supporting each other. Milkin’ Mamas are on Facebook.
Richland County Breastfeeding Coalition
Professionals from the hospital, city, county, and state working to bring community members together to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. If you would like to become part of this coalition, please contact Mary Jo Coleman or Kim Rotharay.
Mary Jo Coleman, Richland Hospital
Kim Rotheray, Southwest CAP
The breastfeeding information on pregnant.thebump.com offers breastfeeding tips and problem solving techniques. You can track baby feedings, learn how nursing changes as babies get older and much, much more.
At Kellymom.com, our goal is to provide support & evidence-based information on breastfeeding, sleep and parenting. I am the mother of three lovely children, and I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). I hope that my articles are helpful and encouraging.
– Kellymom.com, August 1, 2014