LGMC Recertified with GIFT Designation

4/30/2014

Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) was successfully recertified in April as a GIFT Designated facility by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, effective through March 2016. A GIFT (Guided Infant Feeding Techniques) facility is recognized as having implemented “The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.”

LGMC was the first hospital in Acadiana to achieve GIFT certification, when it was first certified in 2008. LGMC staffs three internationally certified lactation consultants, three certified lactation counselors, as well as nurses trained as breastfeeding educators.

In April 2013, LGMC received a grant to allow purchases of breast pumps to loan to in-need mothers of infants who are in LGMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. According to representatives of Ameda, the breast pump supplier, LGMC is the only hospital in the nation, to the their knowledge, that loans pumps to mothers in need.

In addition to individual assistance, LGMC’s Breastfeeding Resource Center has booklets, books and videos on successful breastfeeding tips that mothers can access at any time.

The Louisiana Office of Public Health–Bureau of Family Health and the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and Prevention of Infant Mortality presented LGMC with a GIFT Designation Award. The award certifies that LGMC practices the “Ten Steps” guidelines championed by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (WHO/UNICEF).

According to WHO/UNICEF, every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour after birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.
  6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically recommended.
  7. Practice rooming-in – that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
“We are proud to have Lafayette General Medical Center as a GIFT Designated facility, and are thankful for their continued participation in this important statewide initiative to improve the health of Louisiana’s mothers and babies,” says Marci Brewer, Breastfeeding Program Manager for the Louisiana Bureau of Health.

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