Florida Quest for Quality Maternity Care award presented to Baptist Medical Center South
June 1, 2017 | Jacksonville, FL
Baptist Medical Center South received a Florida Quest for Quality Maternity Care award from the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition (FBC). This means that Baptist South prioritizes maternity care services by continually improving the quality and support for mothers giving birth in their hospital and answers one of the actions in the U.S. Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding.
"No hospital mission is more important than providing a healthy start for newborns. We're continually working to improve maternity care to integrate the latest academic findings, global best practices and our own internal lessons learned," said Elizabeth Gunn, RN, MSN, vice president of Patient Care Services for Baptist South. "Nearly 3,000 babies are born each year at Baptist South.
The hospital's Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum (LDRP) program includes Breastfeeding 101 classes, Breastfeeding Support groups and a lactation consultant in the hospital to help interested mothers learn to breastfeed successfully.
"The Florida Department of Health fully supports breastfeeding as a vital health activity," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "We commend all hospitals and health care facilities that are working toward practicing the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and encourage others to adopt these practices so that all mothers and newborns achieve the best health possible."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, for women who intend to breastfeed, the hospital experience is critical, and to give infants the best start in achieving a healthy life, including reduced obesity, mothers must be supported immediately after birth to establish breastfeeding. The impetus for this project is the fact that more mothers in Florida are choosing to breastfeed their newborns but few have breastfed long enough to gain the maximum benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and infants.
"The Florida Breastfeeding Coalition is proud to recognize Baptist Health and award them for their leadership in creating a comprehensive action plan that will improve infant feeding practices," stated Joan Younger Meek, MD, a co-founder of the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc.
Baptist South's LDRP department promotes activities to improve the health of newborns and mothers, including:
- Skin to skin contact within the first hour after birth- Evidence shows healthy babies placed skin to skin just after birth have improved health outcomes over those who have been separated from their mothers after birth.
- Rooming-in for all families- has been proven to increase bonding and parenting skills necessary for caring for baby post discharge
- Provision of prenatal and post-partum education focusing on recommended feeding practices of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continuing for a least one year or as long as mutually desired.