Texas Health Plano Achieves Baby-Friendly Designation
10/01/2010

PLANO, Texas — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano is the sixth hospital in Texas to earn the World Health Organization’s “Baby-Friendly” designation, an honor recognizing the hospital’s comprehensive approach to support breastfeeding of newborns.

All six hospitals that have earned the designation statewide are Texas Health Resources hospitals. Nationwide, there are 99 “Baby Friendly” hospitals.

“We’ve made a commitment to meeting the needs of the mother and her baby first,” said Veronica Schaedler, supervisor of Lactation Services at Texas Health Plano. “Breastfeeding not only protects the newborn by building their immune system, but it also has long term health benefits for women. We intend on providing our patients with the very best support in order for them to meet their individual goals.”

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is an international program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) designed to encourage and acknowledge hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation.

According to the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) what happens in the hospital has profound effects on breastfeeding success. In its recent Breastfeeding Report Card, the CDC lauded the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and listed the number of facilities in each state that have achieved the Baby-Friendly designation.

A mother’s breast milk provides the best mix of nutrients and antibodies necessary for the healthy development of their newborn. Breastfed children have fewer and less serious illnesses than those who never receive breast milk, including a reduced risk of SIDS and fewer occurrences of childhood cancer and diabetes.

In addition, women who breastfeed are less at risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer, anemia and osteoporosis.

“We are noticing that babies are better able to maintain their birth weight and show decreased levels of newborn jaundice because of the emphasis on skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding in the crucial moments after birth,” said Tracy Morgan, the hospital’s director Women’s and Children’s Services. “Baby Friendly designation is not only about supporting mothers who choose to breastfeed but about supporting a family centered approach to healthcare.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses Baby Friendly’s 10 steps for successful breastfeeding and recommends that mothers breastfeed exclusively. Texas Health Plano’s exclusive breastfeeding rate among term newborns increased from 50 percent to more than 80 percent since the program was launched.

To achieve Baby-Friendly status, hospitals must successfully implement and follow the 10 steps outlined by the program. These include starting breastfeeding in the first hour of life, giving employees extensive training, minimizing separation between mothers and their babies and providing outpatient support after discharge.

Representatives from Baby-Friendly USA, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States, conducted an intensive on-site review of Texas Health Plano to assess its breastfeeding program.

“Achieving Baby-Friendly status is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our clinicians and physicians on the medical staff,” said Dr. Jeffrey Canose, president of Texas Health Plano. “It’s our goal to offer the best possible birthing experience for our moms and the newest member of their families.”

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano is a 366-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to Plano and surrounding areas since 1991. The hospital’s services include orthopedics, cardiovascular services, oncology, pediatrics and women’s services. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Plano has more than 1,600 employees and 1,300 physicians on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Plano.