Minden Medical Center First Hospital in North Louisiana to Achieve Baby-Friendly Designation

August 1, 2017

Minden, Louisiana, August 1, 2017. – Minden Medical Center announces the baby place has achieved prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility.

“Minden Medical Center’s baby place continues to set the standard for maternity care in North Louisiana,” said Donna Carter, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer at Minden Medical Center. “We are very proud of our team who worked so hard to earn this designation, which is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that every woman who delivers a baby at Minden Medical Center is offered the information, confidence and skills needed to help her and her baby receive the best, healthiest start in life.”

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and promote the best, evidence-based feeding practices for all babies.

“We are beyond excited to achieve the Baby-Friendly designation as it makes a statement that we have completed the intense work to improve care and outcomes for our moms and babies in Webster Parish and surrounding communities,” said Mandi Hart, RN, BSN, CBC, Director of Labor & Deliver at Minden Medical Center. “A major part of this designation is the amount of time we spend in our patient rooms educating moms, whether they are breast feeding or bottle feeding, on how to care for their babies from feeding cues, safe sleep and bathing. We cover it all in depth.  When you see first time moms leave the hospital beaming with confidence in the care they are providing their child, then you know all the work, all the education was the right thing to do for our patients.”

Currently there are 445 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. Only 6 in Louisiana. The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

Dana Haynes, RN, BSN, CBC, Nursery Nurse Manager at Minden Medical Center said, “It is so exciting to receive the recognition of becoming the first Baby-Friendly designated facility in North Louisiana but first and foremost the purpose has always been to benefit our patients and their families. Baby-Friendly USA provides specific steps to achieve the best outcomes possible in our community. We have instituted many new processes to educate and encourage families on the best way to safely care for their children and avoid negative outcomes that are so prevalent to our region. We will continue to benefit with this national achievement through support and guidance on the most up to date care guidelines for the people we serve.”

“To be considered for Baby Friendly designation, MMC demonstrated its competency by having policies and procedures set up to support breastfeeding as well as an education for pregnant women to share the benefits and management of breast-feeding at The Women’s Clinic, said Kelli Waller, RN, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Certified Childbirth Education at Minden Medical Center. “Some of the specifics include initiating breastfeeding within one hour of birth, and “rooming in,” where moms and infants stay together around the clock. By not providing artificial nipples, such as pacifiers, and avoiding the use of formula (unless medically necessary) for breastfeeding moms, MMC ensures that breastfeeding is initiated effectively.”

Healthy behaviors for new moms and babies take the spotlight August 1 – 7 during World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), an opportunity for health-related groups across the world to focus their efforts on the benefits of breastfeeding. Launched in 1991 by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), WBW aims to “protect, promote and support breastfeeding.”  This year, the organization is placing particular emphasis on working together for the common good. 

At Minden Medical Center, we are proud to join the action and participate in #WBW17 and provide support to the breastfeeding moms in our area – those at work and at home, first-time moms to fourth-time moms and beyond, single moms and married moms. We want every mom to have the support she needs to give her baby a healthy start to life, and a big part of that support is understanding the benefits of breastfeeding, both for the mom and the baby.

Benefits for babies

There are many benefits babies will reap from breast milk. The nutrients, hormones and antibodies provided by the mother will help keep the baby healthy and strong. Plus, breast milk tends to be easier for babies to digest. Add in the sense of comfort and security that breastfeeding offers a baby, and you have three compelling reasons to take nature’s approach to feeding your child.  

In addition to the three reasons mentioned above, breastfed babies tend to have lower risk of allergies, ear infections, diarrhea, asthma, obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and lower respiratory infections. And if you still have reservations, the physical contact of breastfeeding is a great way for a new mom and baby to bond.

Benefits for moms

While people often talk about the benefits of breastfeeding for babies, it can be equally beneficial for mothers. The most obvious benefit to breastfeeding for new moms is that it is a perfect opportunity to really connect and bond with your new baby. You can give your baby something that no one else can – nutritious milk and a strong sense of security.

On top of the bonding and security breastfeeding provides, it also is free and can save significant amounts of time and money. Estimates indicate that formula and feeding supplies can cost more than $1,500 per year. Breastfeeding also saves time in that moms do not have to deal with measuring and mixing formula and sterilizing bottles. Additionally, the physical contact between mother and baby increases oxytocin levels, a hormone that helps milk flow and can create a calming effect for the mother. Studies have shown that breastfeeding lowers the mother’s risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer and postpartum depression. It also requires calorie expenditure, which can help new moms shed any extra weight gained during pregnancy.  

But breastfeeding can be intimidating for first-time moms. How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk? What if I’m feeding her too much? Are the foods I’m eating upsetting my baby’s stomach? How can I breastfeed when I return to work? All of these questions, and so many more, often dissuade new moms from breastfeeding, but they shouldn’t.

At Minden Medical Center, we offer a number of services to answer these questions, calm new mothers’ fears and provide support to moms who want to breastfeed their babies. These services include childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes, lactation consultant visits and support groups.

To learn more about the services we offer, visit the baby place at www.mindenmedicalcenter.com/services/womens-services/the-baby-place or call 318-371-5660.