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Published on November 21, 2014

MU Women's and Children's Hospital Recognized by the State for Breastfeeding Initiatives

Show me 5 Winners

Courtney Barnes (middle right with plaque), MD, assistant professor of clinical obstetrics, gynecology and women's health and chair of the hospital's breastfeeding support team, accepts a plaque recognizing MU Women's and Children's Hospital as a Show-Me 5 designated hospital at a ceremony held Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. The certification comes from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and recognizes hospitals for efforts to support new moms who want to breastfeed their infants.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital received the Missouri “Show-Me 5” Hospital designation today for its efforts to support new moms who want to breastfeed their infants.

Women’s and Children’s Hospital is among only six hospitals in the state to receive the “Show-Me 5” certification, which was presented by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling.

“We work incredibly hard to keep babies with their families from the moment they are born and continue this throughout their entire hospital stay,” said Courtney Barnes M.D., assistant professor of clinical obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health and chair of the hospital’s breastfeeding support team. “We continually look at how we support all of the mothers, ensuring that we give them accurate information about infant feeding. We view the hospital stay as a time of learning for families. ”

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, policies and practices in hospitals and other birthing facilities have a significant impact on whether women choose to breastfeed and how successful they are in reaching their infants’ feeding goals. The “Show-Me 5” initiative assists mothers in meeting those goals. 

“What happens in the first day or two of life makes a crucial difference in what happens after mother and infant return home, said Vasterling. “Hospitals play a critical role in increasing the number of mothers who initiate breastfeeding, so the staff at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital is to be commended for their dedication and willingness to implement maternity care policies that best support breastfeeding.”

The Show-Me 5 designation is given to hospitals that meet the five steps that are also part of the World Health Organization’s Baby-Friendly initiative. The WHO’s Baby-Friendly initiative is an effort to continually improve patient- and family-centered care and increase rates of breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity.

“Our well-trained-staff seek every opportunity to teach families not about only infant feeding but also how to care for and nurture their new babies,” said Barnes.

MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital was awarded the designation for meeting the following criteria:

  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth.
  • Practice “rooming-in”, allowing infants to stay in the same room as their mothers.
  • Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  • Do not give pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge.

“MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital is committed to continuously looking for ways to further improve care for mothers and babies after delivery, in the postpartum unit and after discharge,” said Lori Lampe, R.N., certified lactation consultant. “We are passionate about assisting new mothers and babies. The “Show-Me 5” designation is an honor from the state of Missouri saying we are making a difference.”

This initiative is collaboration between Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition.

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