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Recognition for Breastfeeding Efforts with GIFT Certification

December 07, 2011

Janie Martin, Executive Director of the LA-MCH Coalition
Dana Vidrine, BSN, RNC-MNN, Woman’s Director Mother/Baby
Leah Terrell, MSN, RNC-MNN, Woman’s Manager Mother/Baby
Karrie Delise, BSN, RNC-MNN, Woman’s Manager Mother/Baby
Tricia Johnson, MN, RN, CNEA-BC, Woman’s Chief Nursing Executive
Wendy Singleton, MSN, APRN-BC, ANP, Woman’s Mother/Baby

Tis the season for gift giving, and today, Woman’s Hospital received a GIFT – the Guided Infant Feeding Techniques certification for its efforts in protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. The largest labor and delivery hospital in Louisiana, Woman’s delivers more than 8,500 babies a year. The Louisiana Maternal and Child Health Coalition, the Louisiana Perinatal Commission, and the Office of Public Health-Maternal and Child Health Program applauded Woman’s for its programs to educate mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding and for providing ongoing breastfeeding support. The certification was presented to Woman’s by Janie Martin, Executive Director of the Louisiana Maternal and Child Health Coalition.
 
"Breastfeeding has proven benefits for mothers and babies. That’s why we have taken steps in our programs, such as updating the Women, Infant and Children's (WIC) food package, to encourage women in Louisiana to choose breastfeeding over formula. More babies are born at Woman’s Hospital than any other in the state, so their GIFT certification is sure to impact the health of future generations. I applaud the leadership at Woman’s for recognizing this tremendous opportunity," said Bruce D. Greenstein, Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary.
 
“I am pleased to announce Woman’s GIFT certification and to say how proud I am of the Woman’s team for its ongoing efforts to promote breastfeeding. Our support to new mothers begins during pregnancy and extends through post delivery and after they go home. These initiatives coincide with GIFT’s goals and helps Woman’s further its mission to improve the health of women and infants,” said Teri Fontenot, Woman’s President and CEO.
 
Woman’s full-time, board-certified lactation consultants visit new mothers throughout their hospital stay. Nurses also help women through prenatal classes, post-discharge consultations, private in-room visits and a 24/7 “Warmline” to answer any breastfeeding questions. Additionally, Woman’s has designated lactation consultants for mothers of NICU babies. These consultants advise mothers on how to provide breast milk, whether it is through pumping or breastfeeding, to help their babies grow stronger and healthier.
 
“Breastfeeding and breast milk provides the best nutrition for newborns and infants. It is rich in nutrients and antibodies, is easy to digest and helps babies fight disease,” explains Dana Vidrine, Director of Woman’s Mother/Baby.
 
The Louisiana Maternal and Child Health Coalition is an organization of members working together to achieve healthy outcomes for women and children. It initiates and supports policy development and implementation through lobbying and advocacy, educates policy leaders, creates and maintains alliances consistent with maternal and child health priorities, and serves as a resource center and provides continuing education.

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