Baton Rouge, La. – Woman’s Hospital has earned recognition as a Gift Shining Star designated hospital, which is the highest designation within The Gift program. The Gift is a quality improvement initiative and hospital designation program through the Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health – Bureau of Family Health. Louisiana birthing facilities that achieve rigorous standards of performance in outcomes and participation as defined by the program are eligible for either Gift or Gift Shining Star designation. The Gift initiative, led by the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC), is designed to increase breastfeeding rates and hospital success by improving the quality of maternity services and enhancing patient-centered care.
“We know that breastfeeding has incredible benefits for both mom and baby, so it is our duty to educate families and provide them with the resources they need to be successful in their breastfeeding journey,” said Dana Vidrine, director of Mother/Baby at Woman’s. “Especially in times like we’re seeing now with the current formula shortage, it’s important that women are supported and empowered in their breastfeeding efforts.”
Woman’s offers many resources to educate parents on the benefits of breastfeeding as well as ongoing breastfeeding support. Board-certified lactation consultants and certified lactation counselors visit patients throughout their hospital stays. Nurses also help families through prenatal classes, post-discharge consultations and a 24/7 “Warmline” to answer breastfeeding questions. Woman’s Pregnancy App also features a breastfeeding tracker to help families monitor and log feedings to help improve their success.
Additionally, Woman’s has designated lactation consultants and counselors for parents of NICU patients. These consultants advise patients on how to provide breast milk, whether through pumping or breastfeeding, to help their babies grow stronger and healthier.
Birthing facilities are reviewed for their performance on specific practices for birthing persons and policies that are aligned with the evidence-based, internationally recognized Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding from the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Additionally, these facilities are assessed for their degree of participation in quality improvement activities and implementation of available patient education materials. Policy development, education of staff, patient education and provision of discharge resources for breastfeeding persons are key components of the program.
Woman’s received its first Gift designation in 2011 and is currently one of 42 designated facilities and one of 17 as a Gift Shining Star designated facility. Learn more about our breastfeeding resources or sign up for a breastfeeding class at womans.org/breastfeeding.