SPARTANBURG — “Will I get to stay with my baby in the hospital? Will someone be able to help me with breastfeeding? Will I be able to breastfeed successfully?” These are some of the questions that might go through a new mom’s mind. Baby-Friendly hospitals like Spartanburg Medical Center focus on helping moms get the answers and support that they need to meet their breastfeeding goals.
As a newly designated Baby-Friendly hospital, Spartanburg Medical Center expertly supports breastfeeding, which has been shown as the gold standard for both mom and baby. After a mom delivers her baby at Spartanburg Medical Center, staff will provide breastfeeding education, answer breastfeeding questions and support her throughout her breastfeeding journey.
“Being Baby-Friendly means that when a mom comes in to deliver, she has the best lactation, breast feeding support that’s available,” said Elizabeth Kissinger, director of women and children’s services at Spartanburg Medical Center. “Nearly twenty-one percent of births are happening in Baby-Friendly designated facilities.”
Baby-Friendly is a global initiative that supports mothers and babies through top care when it comes to delivery, mom/baby bonding and feeding.
With breastfeeding, while baby enjoys nature’s own serving of healthy nutrients and a stronger immune system through breastfeeding, mothers also gain health benefits too like a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and postpartum depression.
Following Baby-Friendly’s 10 steps is an attempt to do the right thing for moms and babies. Rooming in, skin-to-skin, avoiding pacifiers, well-educated staff and physicians, and not supplementing breast milk unless medically indicated have all been clinically proven to improve breast feeding rates.
“Having a baby is a joyous event. Spartanburg Medical Center wants to support new moms and help them and their babies get off to the best start possible. This new designation allows us to do this even better than before,” said Phil Feisal, Spartanburg Medical Center president.
Baby-Friendly is a culture shift from what moms previously experienced in the hospital. For example, if a mom delivered four years ago, her baby would be taken to a nursery. Now, baby stays with mom, a practice called rooming in. Rooming in helps moms and their babies get to know one another. Moms who room in are more successful with breastfeeding and have babies that cry less and sleep more soundly.
Another change that supports breastfeeding is placing babies on their mom’s bare chest immediately after delivery. Called skin-to-skin, this practice helps natural instincts kick in. Babies nurse better and moms’ bodies make higher volumes of milk. With skin-to-skin contact, babies have a less stressful transition to the world with more stable temperatures, steady breathing and less crying.
“In the past, hospitals haven’t done a good job supporting women with breastfeeding,” Kissinger said. “Now we are able to provide evidence-based care to help women meet their breastfeeding goals. Baby-Friendly has shown time and time again to be incredibly healthy for moms and babies.”
Spartanburg Medical Center started working towards their Baby-Friendly status in January 2015. Since receiving this designation in mid-May 2017, more than 50 babies have been born and moms have appreciated the change.
“We have received feedback from many satisfied moms. While working on our status, we frequently received calls asking if we were Baby-Friendly,” Kissinger said. “I think the community can be proud that they have a medical center that is certified to provide them with the best healthcare around.”
Every Baby-Friendly hospital follows these 10 steps:
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
7. Practice rooming in to allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.
Learn more about breastfeeding and our mother and baby care at SpartanburgRegional.com/Events. Here are our ongoing prenatal courses. Call to learn more:
• Breastfeeding Class
Spartanburg Medical Center, Montgomery Tower second floor classroom
This two-hour class is an in-depth introduction to breastfeeding that includes the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby and problem-solving tips. Learn practical solutions for everyday challenges, how to overcome occasional obstacles and how to continue at breastfeeding after you return to work. The class is taught by a certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). Spouses and support people are encouraged to attend with you. For more information or to register, visit SpartanburgRegional.com/Events or call 864-560-BABY (2294).
• Maternity Tour, Center for Women
Spartanburg Medical Center
A guided tour of our labor, delivery and postpartum areas eases stress on the day of the delivery by allowing you to become familiar with what to expect during your hospital stay. Register online at SpartanburgRegional.com/Events or for more information, call 864-560-BABY (2294).
• Table for Two
Spartanburg Medical Center, Montgomery Tower, second floor classroom
Table for Two is a support group for breastfeeding moms. Mothers with babies between 2 weeks and 6 months old are invited to attend. This group gives breastfeeding mothers an opportunity to meet other new moms, ask questions and share concerns. Register for this free support group at SpartanburgRegional.com/Events or call 864-560-2297.
• Infant Care
Spartanburg Medical Center, Montgomery Tower, second-floor classroom
This class is a great introduction to baby care for moms and their support person. It covers the basics of infant care and nurturing in a 1 ½ hour class. Learn about a variety of topics including bathing, feeding, sleeping, diapering, umbilical cord care, safety and other practical concerns. Please let us know if a support person will attend with you. Register online at SpartanburgRegional.com/Events or call 864-560-BABY (2294).
• Sibling Class
Spartanburg Medical Center, Montgomery Tower second floor classroom
This fun and interactive class introduces brothers and sisters to the changes they can expect when their sibling is born. They will learn how to feed, rock, change diapers and hold their new brother or sister. Children may bring their favorite doll or toy to use in the diapering demonstration. We recommend the class for children from 3-12 years old. Each child must be accompanied by an adult. Your child/children will watch a video, have a discussion and take a tour. For more information or to register, visit SpartanburgRegional.com/Events or call 864-560-BABY (2294).
• Birth Basics
Birth Basics teaches a balance of information and skills for labor. Learn what to expect and the choices you have to help you be as comfortable as possible during your birth experience. Your support person is welcome to attend. Participants are encouraged to bring a healthy snack/lunch and drink for our break; no food will be provided. Register online at SpartanburgRegional.com/Events or call 864-560-BABY (2294).