Saint Luke’s South Hospital in
Overland Park, Kansas, has received High 5 for Mom & Baby recognition for
its integration of best practices for breastfeeding and bonding between mothers
and newborns as part of its maternity care program.
The High 5 program, initiated, funded and provided by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, is founded on key practices crucial to a successful breastfeeding experience. The program offers two-hours of on-site training and educational support for hospitals to implement these proven practices to increase the adoption and duration of breastfeeding among new mothers.
Saint Luke’s South Maternity
Services Coordinator Denise Ahnen guided the process for Saint Luke’s South.
Last November, High 5 program educator, Libby Rosen, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC,
conducted the on-site education classes at the hospital with 12 staff and
community members, with additional Maternity Nursing staff completing necessary
“Through strong evidence based practice,
policies and procedures as well as staff training we are able to provide the highest
level of care to support our moms and babies both at the bedside and after they
leave the hospital,” said Ahnen. “We are proud to be one of only 30 hospitals
in the State of Kansas thus far to receive this designation, which exemplifies
the highest standard of hospital care that supports breastfeeding.”
Research indicates a link between
breastfeeding and decreased health risks for a baby such as high blood pressure,
type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, leukemia
and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Studies also show a correlation to
childhood and adolescent obesity for those who were not breastfed. In addition,
mothers who breastfeed have a decreased incidence of premenopausal breast
cancer, ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes.
The five practices comprising the
High 5 for Mom & Baby standards are: assuring immediate, sustained
skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth; giving newborn
infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated;
allowing “rooming in” so mothers and infants can remain together 24 hours a
day; not giving pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants; and
providing mothers options for breastfeeding support in the community.
About Saint Luke’s South Hospital
South Hospital is part of Saint Luke's Health System,
which consists of 10 area hospitals and campuses and many primary care
practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care
services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission
includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and
the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an
aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume
responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of
people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.