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17 Baby-Friendly Hospitals in LA!

August 26, 2019

Congratulations to Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington, LA, which recently achieved Baby-Friendly designation! Melissa Sheridan, RN, IBCLC, shared (see below and Read More for full interview) how the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding impacted mothers receiving care at the facility as well as what it was like going through the process.

Becoming Baby-Friendly improved our hospital practices so we were better able to provide excellent family-centered care. We focus on keeping the family unit together by educating the family about the benefits of rooming-in with their baby and we teach parents to recognize their baby’s hunger cues. The family is encouraged to ask questions so they are fully confident when they leave the hospital, knowing they can care for the baby on their own.

We had a lot of positive feedback from the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. The parents enjoyed being able to have the baby in the room with them at all times, seeing and participating in their baby’s first bath, and the early skin to skin contact. The most touching stories came from mothers that had delivered previous babies in hospitals that had not implemented the Ten Steps.

Share a Story: I had a mom cry during a bath that I was giving the baby in her room…. I asked what was wrong. Her response almost made me cry. “This is my fifth baby and this is the first time I have ever gotten to see my baby getting the first bath. My other babies were always whisked off to the nursery and bathed, then several of them were cold and had to stay under a warmer in the nursery which seemed like an eternity.” I described the bathing process and how the mom would hold the baby skin to skin immediately afterwards to help keep the baby warm. Mom was definitely onboard with the process. I checked the baby’s temperature before and after the bath and again after 30 minutes of skin to skin time. Baby’s temperature remained stable and mom had tears of joy and I was happy that she had a wonderful experience.

What was most challenging about becoming Baby-Friendly? Getting providers and ancillary staff to complete the required education was challenging. We sent many letters to the physicians, I spoke at department meetings and reached out to them individually in face to face conversations. I think the face to face conversations helped more than anything, along with texts. We used the Coffective Education, courtesy of The Gift, for physicians, NNP’s and staff.

As the Baby-Friendly site visit approached, we were still at less than 80% of providers receiving the education so we offered them a second option, the Well Start Lactation management self-study modules and approximately 6 physicians completed it. We also had a competency fair to educate the hospital staff and encourage them to complete the Coffective Ancillary Education, which was located on the learning management system. Fortunately, we managed to meet the requirements even with the tight schedule. I do think the Coffective Modules are excellent for staff education!

What advice do you have for other hospitals? Reach out to others for assistance and advice. The following were instrumental in completing the process; support from hospital management, The Gift coach, Susie Amick, the EMPower coach, Julia Bourg, the Baby-Friendly Committee members, our hospital’s lactation department, and Michele Granito RN, IBCLC from Tulane – Lakeside Hospital in Metairie, a sister-facility. These collaborations were helpful along with the sharing of ideas from other hospitals.

Lakeview Regional Medical Center is very proud of our accomplishment and all of the hard work that went into the process.

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