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Licking Memorial Health Systems Baby Initiatives

Maternal Child staff Lynda Hoffman and Amanda Baker offer guests information and resources regarding breastfeeding.
Maternal Child staff Lynda Hoffman and Amanda Baker offer guests information and resources regarding breastfeeding.

Baby Expo
Licking Memorial Health Systems (LMHS) invites the community to celebrate the joy of childbirth at the third annual Baby Expo.  The Licking Memorial Hospital Development Council Community Relations Committee will host the event on Sunday, October 16, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the John and Mary Alford Pavilion at Licking Memorial Hospital (LMH).  New and expectant mothers, as well as women considering pregnancy, will have an opportunity to learn more about LMH’s Maternal Child services, along with other local services and products available to mothers and babies.

The Baby Expo will feature select baby specialty vendors and information on:
• Pregnancy care, including nutrition
• Breastfeeding
• Newborns’ special needs, including nutrition and safe sleep
• “First Impressions” maternity classes at LMH
• Licking Memorial Pediatrics services
• Licking Memorial Women’s Health services
• “Quit for You, Quit for Baby” tobacco cessation services
• Vendors’ products for mothers-to-be, as well as mothers and babies
• Car seat checks

Along with the informational booths and vendors, three subject-matter experts will present demonstrations to guests throughout the afternoon, including:
• Infant and Child CPR
• Bath Time for Baby
• Keeping Baby Safe

Tours of LMH’s Maternal Child Department will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Guests also will receive many give-away items and a chance to win door prizes.  Light refreshments will be served.  The Baby Expo is free and open to the community, and no registration is required.  For more information, call (220) 564-4102.

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative
In an effort to further enhance LMH Maternal Child services, Licking Memorial Health Systems implemented the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and is currently working toward achieving Baby-Friendly Hospital designation with the goal of becoming one of the first Baby-Friendly hospitals in Central Ohio.  “This designation recognizes a hospital’s achievement in high standards of maternity care and meeting best practices for infant nutrition,” said Heather Burkhart, Assistant Vice President Inpatient Services.  The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global effort of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to initiate practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding.  It is implemented in the U.S. by Baby-Friendly USA (BFUSA).

Hospitals are an important link between the breastfeeding support provided to mothers prior to and after delivery.  As part of the Initiative, babies stay as close as possible to their mothers after birth, in order to breastfeed when they are ready.  Healthy babies and their mothers are able to have early skin to skin contact, and remain close to one another by staying in the same room.  Nurses are available to help at any time, if a mother has questions or needs help with breastfeeding.  This evidence-based initiative helps increase health outcomes by encouraging mothers to breastfeed their infants for the best start in life. “The Baby-Friendly Initiative focuses on the importance of exclusive  breastfeeding for infants for the first 6 months of life with continuation of breastfeeding for the first year or longer,” said LMH Lactation Consultant Marcia Fisher.  “Breast milk provides the best nutrition, in addition to immunities that are not found in artificially prepared formulas.”

The facility-wide designation and plan integrates a selection of Health Systems employees from various disciplines and key departments who provide care to women, infants and young children.  Obstetric and pediatric office practices also are represented as well as community agencies that provide education and support to pregnant women and young mothers.  While seeking the Baby-
Friendly designation, LMH has compiled an action plan which includes expanding prenatal education for new mothers, additional staff training, increasing data collection, and enhancing patient care for mothers and babies, by strengthening policies.  The collaborative work of the LMHS BFHI committee will ensure that women in the community are provided with important information about breastfeeding and receive the support needed to provide optimal nutrition and care for their children.

Licking Memorial Health Systems
www.lmhealth.org