Achieving Designation by Baby-Friendly, USA
Laura Griffith Gilbert, MSN, RNC-OB and Diane Gallagher, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
On Feb. 9, 2017, Rush University Medical Center was notified that it had met the 10 required standards and was awarded designation by Baby-Friendly USA. The path to designation was a four-year journey.
The Mother Baby Unit was designed to support compliance with the Baby-Friendly USA requirement to have mom and baby remain together. The journey was a multidisciplinary process. The core team consisted of nurses from Mother Baby Unit, Labor & Delivery, ambulatory clinics, and the College of Nursing; obstetric and pediatric physician champions; and representatives from finance, marketing and IT. The group met weekly to brainstorm, strategize next steps, and review progress toward achieving each Baby-Friendly USA designation milestone.
The final stage was one of the most difficult. A survey in March 2016 by Baby-Friendly USA revealed that we had a few deficits that had to be addressed before December 2016. During this time, nurses increased the patient interviews to ensure that we closed the gap on our deficits:
- Nursing practice and patient education exceeded the standards of Baby-Friendly USA and was accurately documented.
- Nurses went to the outpatient clinics to support staff patient education initiative.
- Nurses went to non-maternity units to provide education on breastfeeding and how to support lactating women.
The Baby-Friendly USA designation provides a framework for policies and procedures by emphasizing the need to support breastfeeding through education and keeping moms and babies together to allow for a good start on the process.