Lakin, KS – Kearny County Hospital has continued its commitment to improving infant and maternal health by earning recognition through High 5 for Mom & Baby Premier, a program developed by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates in Kansas.
High 5 for Mom & Baby Premier provides resources and a framework to help Kansas hospitals and birth facilities implement ten evidence-based practices proven to support successful breastfeeding, improving maternal and infant health outcomes while also reducing racial and ethnic health disparities.
To obtain High 5 for Mom & Baby Premier recognition, each facility is asked to complete a voluntary and self-reported evaluation and to follow all ten of the evidence-based practices:
- Facility will have a written maternity care and infant feeding policy that addresses all ten High 5 for Mom & Baby practices supporting breastfeeding
- Facility will maintain staff competency in lactation support
- All pregnant women will receive information and instruction on breastfeeding
- Assure immediate and sustained skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth
- All families will receive individualized infant feeding counseling
- Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk unless medically indicated
- Practice “rooming in” – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day
- Families will be encouraged to feed their babies when the baby exhibits feeding cues, regardless of feeding methods
- Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants
- Provide mothers options for breastfeeding support in the community (such as a telephone number, walk-in clinic information, support groups, etc.) upon discharge
“Breastfeeding plays a crucial role in the overall health of babies and mothers,” stated Katie Schoenhoff, Director of Programs at the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. “Following the ten High 5 for Mom & Baby practices demonstrates Kearny County Hospital’s commitment to infant and maternal health by helping moms successfully initiate and maintain breastfeeding.”
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 60% of mothers stopped breastfeeding sooner than they planned. Some factors that influence how long or if a baby is breastfed include: hospital practices, education and encouragement, policies or support in the workplace, and access to community support – which is why High 5 for Mom & Baby facilities are committed to helping women breastfeed successfully, through staff trained in breastfeeding best practices and policies to help mothers meet their breastfeeding goals.
Along with the recognition of being named a High 5 for Mom & Baby Premier facility, Kearny County Hospital also receives ongoing education and training opportunities, support and resources through a community of delivery centers, and scholarship opportunities to further staff education.
“Breastfeeding provides numerous health benefits for both infants and mothers, and we’re honored to receive this recognition from the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund for our efforts to support successful breastfeeding initiation and maintenance. As a facility committed to providing the very highest quality of care, we have found the High 5 practices and resources to not only improve health outcomes but also increase patient satisfaction,” said Becky Chappel, RN, Perinatal Supervisor at Kearny County Hospital’s Special Blessings Family Birth Center.