Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Loyola Contributes to Nationwide Increase in Breast-feeding Rates

Hospital makes progress toward 'Baby-Friendly' designation

MAYWOOD – More mothers in the United States are breast-feeding their babies, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued during World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1 to 7, and National Breastfeeding Month. The CDC attributes this to steps hospitals are taking to increase breast-feeding rates among new mothers. 

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is among a select group of hospitals nationwide involved in a first-of-its-kind initiative to significantly improve breast-feeding rates. The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is leading this Best Fed Beginnings program with the help of the CDC and Baby-Friendly USA Inc., the national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

“Loyola is pleased to contribute to this nationwide trend, because breast-feeding is widely recognized as the healthiest choice for both baby and mother,” said Pam Allyn, RN, BSN, LCCE, IBCLC, a lactation consultant at LUHS.

Although breast-feeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers, half of U.S.-born babies are given formula within the first week, and by 9 months, only 31 percent of babies are breast-feeding at all. Breast-feeding rates are lowest among poor socio-economic populations. The Best Fed Beginnings program is intended to reverse these trends and to increase the number of U.S. hospitals with a proven model for maternity services that better supports a new mother’s choice to breast-feed.

Loyola is working with 90 hospitals in a 22-month learning collaborative, using proven quality-improvement methods to transform their maternity care services in pursuit of a “Baby-Friendly” designation. This designation verifies that a hospital has comprehensively implemented the American Academy of Pediatrics-endorsed Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, as established in the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Loyola has started by creating a breast-feeding policy and training all health-care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.