(Seated) Nicole Orebaugh, R.N. and Raysha Ratzlaff, R.N.
Casey Lyons, R.N.; High Five Program Coordinator Gwen Whittit, R.N.,
IBCLC; Obstetrics Supervisor Michelle McVey, R.N.; and Angel Lankton,
Coffey County Hospital earns
“High 5 for Mom & Baby” status
Coffey County Hospital is now a High 5 for Mom & Baby recognized facility. The hospital attained this status by integrating specific maternity care procedures based on the proven health benefits associated with breastfeeding and other key elements of bonding between mother and newborn.
"This recognition is the culmination of 18 months of hard work to raise the bar and implement new practices that will benefit our newborns and their families for years to come," said Coffey Health System Chief Executive Officer Leonard Hernandez. "This was a team effort, and we are very proud of Obstetrics Supervisor Michelle McVey, all of the obstetrics nurses, our medical staff, and the Coffey County Health Department for attaining this great honor for Coffey County Hospital."
The High 5 program—initiated, funded, and provided at no charge to Kansas hospitals by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund—is founded on key practices crucial for a successful breastfeeding experience. High 5 for Mom & Baby was developed by the Hutchinson-based health fund in conjunction with the Kansas Breastfeeding Workgroup.
Of the 62 hospitals and birth centers around the state having made a commitment to the High 5 program, Coffey County Hospital is the 36th to officially qualify for the recognition. The process, guided by the hospital’s Obstetrics Supervisor Michelle McVey, began in February 2016 when the educator for the High 5 program, Libby Rosen, PhD, RN, IBCLC, conducted on-site education classes at the hospital. A total of nine staff and interested community members attended the session.
The High 5 Program Coordinator Gwen Whittit, RN, IBCLC, acknowledged this accomplishment of Coffey County Hospital with an award presentation Thursday, July 6, at the hospital.
“I’m here today to congratulate all of you, and especially (Chief Executive Officer Leonard) Hernandez and your board of directors here at the hospital, Michelle McVey has been pivotal during this project and your maternity staff, and your medical because it takes everybody to do this project,” Whittit said. “With the hard work of everybody here at Coffey County Hospital, change has been made that will support moms and babies in your community with life-long health benefits.”
The Five Best Practices & Benefits
According to Whittit, the five best practices comprising the High 5 for Mom & Baby standards are: assuring immediate, sustained skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth; giving newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated; allowing “rooming in” so mothers and infants can remain together 24 hours a day; not giving pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants; and providing mothers options for breastfeeding support in the community.
Research indicates a link between not breastfeeding and increased health risks for a baby including high blood pressure, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Studies also show a definite correlation to childhood and adolescent obesity for those who were not breastfed. In addition, mothers derive health benefits including a decreased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.
Whittit concluded “Moms and babies at Coffey County Hospital are getting that research-based, high quality of care. I am proud to say that in Coffey County, moms and babies are getting the best care and this is to recognize Coffey County Hospital is a High Five for Mom and Baby Hospital.”
More information about the High 5 for Mom & Baby program is available at www.High5Kansas.org.
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