VBMC-Brownsville designated Texas Ten Step Program facility

BROWNSVILLE —Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville achieves yet another milestone by being the only hospital in Brownsville to earn the Texas Ten Step Program facility designation from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Texas Ten Step hospitals elevate the standard of care for mothers and babies by implementing policies to improve maternity care practices in birthing centers. The education of hospital employees and accessibility to resources for breastfeeding mothers following discharge from the hospital are key objectives. The program works to advance more beneficial and favorable health outcomes for women and their infant children.

Those Ten Steps are based on expert research in infant health and well being, and require that hospitals: 1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health-care staff.

2. Train all health care employees 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 an hour of birth. Place babies in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately following birth for at least an hour. Encourage mothers to recognize when their babies are ready to breastfeed and offer help if needed.

5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain breastfeeding as the source of nutrition, even if they should be separated from their infants.

6. Solely provide infants with breastmilk for nutrition unless medically indicated.

7. Practice rooming-in by allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day while in the hospital.

8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand. Teach mothers cue-based feeding regardless of feeding method.

9. Eliminate use of artificial nipples or pacifiers for breastfeeding infants.

10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from hospital or clinic. “The Mother-Baby Team at Valley Baptist Brownsville is committed to putting the health and well-being of our newest babies at the forefront of our care and are proud to support the overwhelming majority of women that are choosing to breastfeed,” said Dawn LeRoy, Chief Nursing Officer.

“This designation is a remarkable achievement for our hospital, and we will continue to support new moms in raising happy, healthy babies.”

Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville joins a growing number of Texas

hospitals and birth centers that are helping create a culture of breastfeeding support for new mothers and families.

“This is another important step in our effort to bring breastfeeding awareness to our community,” said Marimer Morales, Registered Nurse for Lactation Services at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville. “It is important to our team that we are providing our mothers with the tools and encouragement they need to breastfeed their new babies.”

Just last month, Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville received Gold-Level designation as a Mother-Friendly Worksite by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Valley Baptist-Brownsville now supplies employees who are nursing mothers with a private and peaceful atmosphere for nursing and/or pumping, and spaces to clean bottles and pumps.

August celebrates National Breastfeeding Month, which aims to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding.

To learn more about Texas Ten Step program visit www.texastenstep.org. To learn more about Valley Baptist Health System, visit www.valleybaptist. net