St. Luke’s Hospital, along with other maternity centers in Ohio, is taking steps to promote its support of successful breastfeeding. The Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies is a voluntary breastfeeding designation program through the Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Department of Health that recognizes maternity centers in Ohio for taking steps to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding in their organization. In partnership with the Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance and the Ohio Lactation Consultants Association, the Ohio First Steps program is recognizing facilities with the “Maternity Care Best Practice Award” for 2016. This recognition indicates a facility’s commitment to best practices by choosing to not distribute infant formula or formula-company-sponsored sample packs.
In addition to this commitment, St. Luke’s is providing information and hospital practices supportive of breastfeeding and the Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies program. These resources are available at stlukeshospital.com or www.ohio hospitals.org/ohiobagfree.
“It is our hope that Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies will prompt our leaders and employees to have thoughtful conversations in the hospitals about the benefits of breastfeeding in order to educate patients and the community,” said Sharon Bryson, BSN, RNC, manager of the Family Birthing Center. “The support a new mother receives from hospital employees and leaders can impact her decision to breastfeed. Increasing the number of breastfed newborns can lead to a decrease in the likelihood for future health conditions for the child such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity.”
For more information about Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies, please visit http://ohiohospitals. org/ohiofirststeps.