LMH Health nearing the finish line with Baby Friendly certification
Autumn Bishop, LMH Health
Becoming certified as a Baby Friendly hospital isn’t a quick process, which both the Mother-Baby and Quality teams can attest to. LMH Health has been working for four years toward joining only seven other hospitals in the state of Kansas and more than 600 Baby Friendly hospitals in the United States with this distinction.
“Breastfeeding is so important for both the parent and baby,” said Jody Keltner, registered nurse. “It helps infants adjust to life outside the womb and helps regulate their breathing, heart rate, temperature and aids with bonding.”
In order to receive the Baby Friendly designation from Baby Friendly USA, a hospital must:
- Uphold the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding
- Adhere to the International Code of Marketing for Breastmilk Substitutes
- Promote understanding and enthusiasm for best practice infant feeding care
“Becoming a Baby Friendly hospital means that we’re providing families evidence-based information about feeding their infant and giving them the confidence and skills necessary to initiate and continue breastfeeding after discharge,” Keltner said.
Surveyors had been scheduled to be onsite earlier this year but were delayed due to the COVID pandemic. The teams met virtually with the Baby Friendly surveyor on October 15-16 for interviews and a document review. LMH Health will still be waiting a little longer for certification until a one day on-site assessment with one surveyor is completed.
“While upholding the 10 steps has required LMH Health to make policy and practice changes to reflect these evidence-based practices,” said Rachel Lynch, LMH Health accreditation coordinator. “Earning this designation aligns with the organization’s goal of supporting lifelong health.”
Contact Lori Tillema, Director for Maternal Child Services, to learn more about Baby Friendly or visit babyfriendlyusa.org.