WILMINGTON — CMH Regional Health System and the Clinton County Women, Infants, Children (WIC) team partnered to celebrate August Breastfeeding Awareness Month by honoring new parents Bethany and Jesse and their newborn Riley Mae with a breastfeeding-themed gift from WIC and CMH.
Because hospital practices in the first few hours and days after birth can make the difference in whether and for how long babies breastfeed, CMH and the Clinton County WIC office work closely together to provide new moms and babies with the best possible start. CMH offers lactation services in the hospital and after discharge.
Mandie Powell, Manager of Mother-baby Care at Clinton Memorial Hospital, spoke to the value of breastfeeding and the hospital’s emphasis on breastfeeding benefits for mom and baby. “Breastfeeding is protective against many infectious disease and long-term health conditions for both mother and baby, and while many people are aware of the protection for baby in terms of acute infections and illness, breastfeeding also protects mothers against gynecological cancers, osteoporosis and diabetes,” said.
“This year’s theme also emphasizes the social and environmental impact of breastfeeding — decreased health risks associated with breastfeeding means less spent on health care and resources, and decreasing reliance on formula reduces the manufacturing toll on the environment.”
CMH’s focus on breastfeeding education, and its commitment to best practices by choosing to not distribute formula company-sponsored sample packs, recently earned it a Maternity Care Best Practice Award from Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) as part of the Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies program. The Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies is a voluntary breastfeeding designation program through the Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Department of Health that recognizes maternity centers in Ohio for taking steps to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding in their organization.
And earlier this year, CMH also announced that it was recognized as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. Blue Distinction Centers+ are healthcare facilities recognized for their expertise and efficiency in delivering specialty care.
“Our mother-baby care team is whole-heartedly committed to supporting new families and making sure they have the best, healthiest, safest starts possible,” said Chief Nursing Officer Kris Haasl emphasized. “These recent recognitions — and their collaboration with Clinton County WIC —o nly reinforce the great work that we’re doing here on behalf to honor and support our patients. I’m really proud of our maternity team.”
The Clinton County WIC office also offers lactation services and education to WIC participants and the entire Clinton County community. For more information about the WIC program or breastfeeding services, contact WIC at 937-382-2862, ext 120.