Lafayette General Medical Center Moves into D3 Phase of Becoming a Baby-Friendly Hospital
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., announced Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) has received D3 – Dissemination status, in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). Becoming a Baby-Friendly Hospital is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding outcomes and mother/baby bonding.
LGMC has focused on becoming the first Baby-Friendly hospital in Lafayette by delivering patient-centered care to improve the health outcomes for mothers and babies. BFHI focuses on implementing the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The initiative is about providing parents with the proper education to make informed decisions, and to have better patient outcomes. This is not solely a breastfeeding initiative, but an evidence-based care plan. If a mother decides to bottle feed her baby, she now has the education and support to do so safely.
During the first two phases of the program, LGMC implemented several changes. The Mother-Baby Unit hosts quarterly meetings with physicians, community members, hospital staff and public service agencies to enhance baby-friendly care.
Couplet care was further enhanced, keeping the mother and baby together throughout their entire stay. As a result, during the Mother-Baby Unit renovations earlier this year, the Newborn Care Unit (nursery) was right-sized, and is used sparingly. Couplet care presents more learning opportunities, and allows nurses to educate the parents. Since implementation, there has been an increase in the earlier success of breastfeeding, as well as the rates of moms exclusively breastfeeding.
More skin-to-skin encouragement has increased quality patient outcomes. There are now less cases of hypoglycemia (low-blood sugar), better thermal regulation, and tachypnea (abnormal rapid breathing) resolving on its own. This has resulted in fewer admissions to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
“In D1-Discovery we learned what being a Baby-Friendly hospital was all about and decided we wanted to work towards attaining this international designation,” said Karen Lavergne, Lactation Consultant. “In D2-Developement, we developed plans to ensure our policies and practices would align with the Baby Friendly 10 Steps.”
“Now that we are in the D3-Dissemination Phase, we are committed to assuring our actions are supporting the 10 Steps which have been proven to improve the overall quality and experience of our mothers and babies,” said Judy Robichaux, Director of Maternal, Newborn and Pediatric Services at LGMC. “We are excited to continue this journey that has been both challenging and rewarding to all involved.”