KishHealth seeking Baby-Friendly designation

SANDWICH — Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb and Valley West Community Hospital in Sandwich are pursuing a Baby-Friendly Hospital designation.

“We feel very fortunate that Kishwaukee Community Hospital and Valley West Community Hospital have been selected to participate in this wonderful project,” said Tami Johnson, clinical nurse leader for KishHealth Maternity Suites. “Although both hospitals already have many baby-friendly practices in place, this program will assist us in developing even more evidence-based practices and policies. There are currently only three Baby-Friendly hospitals in Illinois, and we’re excited about the improvements we can implement so the mothers in our communities can receive even more support while breast-feeding.”

To achieve Baby-Friendly designation, a hospital must be assessed by Baby-Friendly USA on its adherence to the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breast-feeding initiation and duration. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program initiated in 1991 by the World Health Organization and UNICEF to recognize hospitals offering quality bonding and breast-feeding support to mothers and babies.

At KishHealth System hospitals, moms and babies receive breast-feeding support, education and counseling in the hospital and after they go home in the Breastfeeding Center at Kish Hospital and through the Mom’s Breastfeeding Support Group.

A We Choose Health Initiative grant was awarded to the DeKalb County Health Department by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Through this grant, the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is assisting 14 hospitals become Baby-Friendly by 2016.

KishHealth System and DeKalb County Health Department plan to collaborate to achieve desired health outcomes that result from breast-feeding. The health department provides nutrition education and support to new families in their Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Family Case Management programs. Enhanced staff development, including lactation consultant certification, and a new Mom’s Room for comfortable breast-feeding will enhance support for moms in the postpartum period and beyond.

Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

Paula Hobson, MD, obstetrician/gynecologist, and Karen Federici, MD, IBCLC, family practice physician, will lead a Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative panel discussion from 6:30 to 8 p.m.Tuesday, Aug. 13 in Kish Hospital's Roberts Conference Center. The presentation focuses on Kish Hospital's progress in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative its importance to community health. To register, call 815-748-8962.