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TGMC Recognized Nationally and Statewide for Achievement as the First and Only Hospital in the Region to achieve the Baby Friendly Designation

09/26/2014

Terrebonne General Medical Center(TGMC) has received the prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility from Baby-Friendly USA.  TGMC has alsobeen recognized on a national level by the National Institute for Children’sHealth Quality (NICHQ) and National Centers for Disease Control and prevention(CDC) for achieving this impressive recognition. TGMC is one of ONLY twohospitals in our state to hold this distinction and one of five hospitals in anational collaborative effort to pursue this honor. 

 Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., based out of Albany, New York is the United States authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information,confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

“We know that breastfeeding is the first step towards a healthy life,” said Julia Bourg, RN,Lactation Consultant and Team Leader.  “The Baby-Friendly Designation at TGMC ensures that patients will receive evidenced based maternity care and their decision to breastfeed will be totally supported,” added Bourg.  The care at TGMC is family centered and focused around mother/baby bonding. TGMC does encourage breastfeeding, but all feeding choices are respected.  All mothers, breastfeeding or not, enjoy the quality care guaranteed by a Baby-Friendly Designated Hospital.

TGMC overhauled old, outdated policies and practices in order to meet the strenuous requirements of the Baby Friendly Designation.  All staff nurses have had over 20 hours of extensive training in breastfeeding and lactation education in order to give breastfeeding families the most exceptional care and support possible.  “Our staff has worked very hard to achieve this goal,” added Bourg.

In addition, as part of this exclusive designation TGMC now offers “skin to skin” as part of every birthing experience.  This means that, if there are no medical problems, a baby is placed “skin to skin” with his mother immediately after birth. This helps babies transition to extra uterine life easier.  Not only do the baby’s vital signs stabilize faster, the mother can really start to bond with her baby. These first few hours are the most important for mother/baby bonding as well as breastfeeding.   “All patients especially love immediate and uninterrupted “skin-to-skin,” Bourg noted. 

The Baby-Friendly Designation is all about empowering mothers to make informed decisions about her baby’scare. Mothers are also encouraged to room in with their newborns. This means that all routine care is done at the mother’s bedside and babies are not taken away unnecessarily for staff convenience. Mother’s have reported that this has helped them have a much more relaxed hospital stay since care is centered on their needs and routines instead of the staff’s. Families also feel more confident about their baby’s care after leaving the hospital.

Phyllis Peoples, President and CEO at TGMC is proud of her team who had the foresight and determination to ensure TGMC was on the cutting edge in providing the ultimate child birth experience for our new mothers.  “The Baby Friendly Designation ensures that new moms are receiving the best possible care from our expert team of healthcare professional and that TGMC offers the most advanced options in our state when it comes to exceptional child birthing experiences that establish a natural mother and baby relationship from birth that is proven to result in better outcomes,” Peoples said.  “Moms are demanding this type of birthing experience and we want to exceed the desires of our new mothers,” Peoples added. 

TGMC also offer the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the region for newborns who need a higher level of care.   The NICU Level III offers meticulous neonatal care by specialty trained physicians and staff who treat pre-mature infants of all gestational ages that require advanced respiratory support.  These newborns are able to remain at TGMC for their neonatal care instead of having to be transported to another facility for care.Staff Neonatologist, Dr. Bedford Nieves is extremely happy with the Baby Friendly honor.  "The Baby Friendly initiative has been the most comprehensive project I have been part of and the most rewarding. This is family-centered care at its best," said Dr. Nieves

Also, TGMC has recently been designated as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Champion by the Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Community Women’s Health Center and the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition.  To qualify as a Workplace Champion,workplaces must offer reasonable break time for working mothers to pump breast milk each time they need to throughout the day; a clean, private, and safe space to express milk other than a restroom when needed; a working sink near the breastfeeding location where mothers can clean breastfeeding equipment; and lactation support communicated to all current and future employees.Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Champions also have a written policy to support breastfeeding in the workplace.  TGMC supports the health and well-being of breastfeeding families employed by the hospital and ultimately the community by offering the accommodations mentioned above and meeting all of the above mentioned criteria.

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