“The Gift” Redesignation
Woman’s Hospital recently received The Gift (Guided Infant Feeding Techniques) redesignation to improve the health of women and infants by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. The Gift is designed to increase breastfeeding rates and hospital success by improving the quality of maternity services and enhancing patient-centered care.
The Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health – Bureau of Family Health and the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and the Prevention of Infant Mortality awards The Gift designation to Louisiana birthing facilities that improve hospital practices and policies that are aligned with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which are internationally recognized, evidence-based maternity care practices from the World Health Organization and UNICEF’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative that have been proven to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration. Policy development, staff education, patient education and provision of discharge resources for breastfeeding mothers are key components of the program.
“Woman’s strives to be a leader in breastfeeding rates and overall health outcomes for our patients,” said Dana Vidrine, director, Mother/Baby. “The Gift demonstrates Woman’s commitment to offering quality, patient-centered care and highlights our initiatives to improve the health of women and infants.”
Woman’s offers many resources to educate mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding as well as ongoing breastfeeding support. Board-certified lactation consultants and certified lactation counselors 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 and counselors 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. Woman’s new smartphone app features a breastfeeding tracker to help mothers successfully breastfeed.
“Our goal is to provide mothers and babies with the very best information and tools at this crucial moment in their lives, and we are able to do so through valuable hospital partners like Woman’s Hospital,” said Marci Brewer Asling, State Breastfeeding Program Manager, Bureau of Family Health. “The Gift program encourages continued progress toward the pursuit of the international designation, Baby-Friendly, a global initiative to promote hospitals and birthing centers that offer optimal care in lactation services.”
Launched in 2006, The Gift has designated 24 of 52 eligible birthing facilities in Louisiana. Woman’s received initial Gift designation in 2011 and received redesignations in 2013 and 2016. The new redesignation is effective until February 2020.