Texas Health Stephenville to Celebrate 'Baby-Friendly' Designation|
STEPHENVILLE, Texas — For Kasha Lewis, the educational classes both before and after her son, Kaden Brandt Lewis, was born in February were a blessing.
“We took every class that was offered,” she said. “Beyond the classes, we were impressed that the staff at the hospital was so friendly and the rooms were so nice, plus we got to keep Kaden in the room with us at all times. I took those procedures for granted until I started talking to family and friends that had babies outside of Stephenville. My husband and I were so pleased that the care focused on keeping our baby with us.”
The approach of keeping babies in the rooms with their mothers is part of the reason Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville was recently designated as a “Baby-Friendly Hospital” by the World Health Organization.
Texas Health Stephenville also recently expanded its family resource center to provide space for new mothers to learn more about breastfeeding. “We enjoy seeing moms-to-be throughout the whole process, from the prenatal classes through the months after their baby is born,” said Jennifer McMeens, R.N., clinical educator at Texas Health Stephenville. “For new parents this can be a time of great joy, but also a learning process and we strive to help all parents have the best possible experience with their new babies. Exclusive breastfeeding can provide health benefits for both mother and baby.”
Members of the community are invited to attend Texas Health Stephenville’s celebration to recognize its "Baby-Friendly" designation. The reception will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, in the Belknap lobby of Texas Health Stephenville. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.
To achieve the status, hospitals must successfully implement and follow 10 steps outlined by the program. These include starting breastfeeding in the first hour of life, extensive employee training, practicing “rooming in” for new moms and infants, and providing outpatient support after the new mom and infant are released from the hospital.
Texas Health Stephenville is one of three hospitals in the Texas Health Resources system to be designated as baby-friendly.
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen also were designated. So far only about 80 hospitals across the United States have earned the designation and the Texas Health hospitals are the only three in Texas.
An international program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is designed to encourage and acknowledge hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its recent Breastfeeding Report Card, lauds the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and lists the number of facilities in each state that have achieved the Baby-Friendly designation.
“We are excited to share our baby-friendly designation with the community and recognize the work of our employees and physicians on the medical staff who work hard to anticipate the needs of new parents and provide education and support throughout the birthing process,” said Texas Health Stephenville President Christopher Leu.
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Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.