Woman’s Hospital recently received another “gift” from the state for its breastfeeding efforts. The hospital received re-designation of its GIFT (Guided Infant Feeding Techniques) initiative to improve the health of mothers and babies. GIFT recognizes facilities for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.
GIFT facilities must implement policies aligned with the “Ten Steps to a Healthy, Breastfed Baby,” which are internationally recognized, evidence-based maternity care practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.
Woman’s offers many resources to educate mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding as well as ongoing breastfeeding support. Board-certified lactation consultants visit new mothers throughout their hospital stays. Nurses also help women through prenatal classes, post-discharge consultations and a 24/7 “Warmline” to answer breastfeeding questions. Additionally, Woman’s has designated lactation consultants for mothers of NICU patients. These consultants advise mothers on how to provide breast milk, whether through pumping or breastfeeding, to help their babies grow stronger and healthier.
GIFT is an initiative of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals - Office of Public Health - Bureau of Family Health and the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and the Prevention of Infant Mortality. Woman’s received the GIFT designation in 2011 and received re-designation in 2013. The new re-designation is effective until November 2017.