Breastfeeding Awards

July 11th, 2017

JPS has been recognized as a center of excellence in breastfeeding by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA.) JPS received two 2017 Care Awards from the organizations, one for inpatient programs and another for outpatient services for moms and newborns, which include home visits to support breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding rates in the U.S. are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They drop off considerably, however, once babies reach six months of age and fall again by 12 months. Eight out of 10 babies start out on breast milk, but fewer than one in three are breastfed through their first birthday.

JPS has launched multiple initiatives since 2013 to increase breastfeeding at John Peter Smith Hospital, where about 20 percent of Tarrant County babies are delivered. Prenatal lactation education classes are provided for expectant mothers, donor milk is purchased for women who want to breastfeed but can’t, breast pumps are provided for women who need them, JPS team members in Women’s Services participate in Breastfeeding Boot Camp, preparing them to educate and support breastfeeding moms. More than 6,000 new mothers have received home or outpatient visits from a JPS certified lactation consultant.

Breastfeeding is promoted for its health benefits. Nursing mothers pass along antibodies that boost immunity, reducing the likelihood of conditions such as ear and respiratory infections for babies. Children who were breastfed are less likely to develop allergies, asthma, diabetes and obesity later in life. Breastfeeding also is believed to lower the risk of infant mortality.

As well as improving population health, breastfeeding initiatives at JPS are part of the network’s overall effort to reduce Tarrant County’s historically high infant mortality rate. While remaining high across the county, the infant mortality rate for babies born at JPS has dropped, hitting a 10-year low and falling below the national average in 2014, according to statistics released in June.

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