Building a Baby-Friendly hospital from the ground up

St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital (SMJH) opened just three years ago with Baby-Friendly (BFHI) designation as its goal. Team members were able to shape and create many policies and procedures to help supporScreen Shot 2015-10-15 at 9.21.13 PMt the goal even before they began the official journey through the BFHI 4-D pathway, says SMJH Family Birth Center and Professional Development Director Stacy McNall, RN, MSN, CLC.

SMJH is currently in the final phase of the 4-D pathway with an anticipated site visit in early 2016.

McNall will present Building a Baby-Friendly Hospital from the Ground Up! at the 22nd Annual International Breastfeeding Conference in Orlando, Fla.

SMJH has increased its breastfeeding initiation rates as well as its exclusivity rates through its journey to Baby-Friendly.

What’s more, “We have seen an incredible change in our staff, our administration and most importantly, our patients as they have begun telling their stories about SMJH to our community,” McNall says.

BFHI helped SMJH focus on high level professional development opportunities for nurses through online breastfeeding education, shadowing and mentoring opportunities and hands-on clinical experience with breastfeeding mothers, she goes on.

Communication has proven to be the facilities biggest challenge, with patients, families, physicians, other staff members and community members.

“On the surface, BFHI can look like a ‘nice’ thing to do,” McNall says. “We need all stakeholders to understand that it is not just the ‘nice’ thing to do; it is in fact the best thing to do.”

With this in mind, McNall and colleagues concentrate on helping nurses communicate with patients and families about breastfeeding in ways that educate without offensive undertones or judgement.

“Your staff will understand that BFHI is a great tool to help increase patient and staff satisfaction,” she explains.

Further, they focus on effective communication with physicians, colleagues and community members.

“Your administration and physicians will ‘get it’ when you make the connection to Perinatal Core measures and how BFHI will help meet these benchmarks,” McNall says.

SMJH team members have also needed to maintain clear communication between their local WIC office and OB Medical Home partners to ensure that families receive consistent messaging and support.

SMJH is also in the beginning phase of entering ANCC’s Magnet Journey.

Learn more about SMJH’s Family Birthing Center at
Click here to register to join us for the International Breastfeeding Conference!

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