Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Push to explain breast-feeding benefits joined by Spring Hill Regional Hospital

SPRING HILL — With the goal of obtaining a "Baby Friendly" designation, Spring Hill Regional Hospital has announced its selection to participate in a national initiative to increase the rate of breast-feeding as a preventive health measure for infants and mothers.

The national initiative, Best Fed Beginnings, focuses on promoting breast-feeding in states that have the lowest rates. It is a 22-month educational collaboration among hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Baby-Friendly USA and the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality.

The 2011 Breast-feeding Report Card released by the CDC shows that only 12.9 percent of babies in Florida are exclusively breast-fed at 6 months and 39 percent at the same age breast-fed at all.

"We look forward to working with Spring Hill Regional Hospital," said Dr. Charlie Homer, president and CEO of NICHQ. "We are especially pleased that we received so many applications from hospitals in states where there are so few facilities with the 'Baby Friendly' designation and from hospitals that serve populations of women who now are much less likely to breast-feed."

According to Baby-Friendly USA, the risk of childhood cancer and diabetes decreases for breast-fed children, while mothers have a reduced risk for conditions such as osteoporosis and breast and ovarian cancer.

In order to obtain a Baby-Friendly designation, hospitals and health centers must meet 10 criteria. Among them: informing all pregnant women about the benefits of breast-feeding and having a written breast-feeding policy.

Jan Morton, a lactation consultant at Spring Hill Regional, said the initiative is a driving force behind a cultural change at the hospital.

The hospital will have specific training for nurses and physicians. The promotion and support of breast-feeding will begin in physicians' offices during prenatal care and will even be given to mothers who come through the emergency room.

Only four hospitals in Florida hold the designation.

Sandra Dixon, nutrition program director at the Hernando County Health Department, said that breast-feeding rates among the Hernando mothers with whom she works are lower than the state average.

"We do want to create a more breast-feeding-friendly community," Dixon said. "I think pregnant women are interested in breast-feeding, but sometimes they lack support."

Denise Barbera, Spring Hill Regional's chief nursing officer, said the hospital "is delighted to have been chosen to participate in this important effort and to have the opportunity to improve our maternity care services to better support breast-feeding.

"We recognize that for women who plan to breast-feed, the hospital experience strongly influences a mother's ability to start and continue breast-feeding."

Spring Hill Regional was one of five Florida hospitals chosen last week for the initiative. Ninety hospitals nationwide are participating in the initiative.

Laura Herrera can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6114.

Push to explain breast-feeding benefits joined by Spring Hill Regional Hospital 06/30/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 30, 2012 12:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco considers new tax districts for parks, libraries, public safety

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Faced with growing costs amid an expected voter-endorsed tax cut, Pasco County is considering changing the way it pays for parks, libraries and public safety.

    
Pasco County is considering a new taxing district to finance an expansion and ongoing operations of the county's Department of Parks,Recreaton and Natural Resources. Shown is the Dick's Tournament of Champions at the the  Wesley Chapel District Park, the last district park developed by the county. It opened in 2007.
  2. Romano: Why flood insurance might not be enough to save your home

    Local Government

    Irma is gone, and Maria never came.

    And yet this is as good a time as any to worry.

  3. Tampa's streetcar system looks to expand north through downtown

    Transportation

    TAMPA — The TECO Line Streetcar system that runs from Ybor City to the Channel District could be extended north through downtown all the way to Tampa Heights, according to the latest update of a $1.7 million study aimed at expanding the streetcar system.

    Riders take in the last few stops of the streetcar route in Ybor City during the tenth anniversary celebration of the TECO line streetcar system in Tampa in 2012. Now officials are looking for ways to expand the service north through downtown to Tampa Heights. [EVE EDELHEIT  |  Times]
  4. Interview: Steve Martin, Martin Short bringing 'best version' of their show back to St. Petersburg

    Stage

    Hot celebrity-spotting tip: Stop by the Salvador Dalí Museum on Jan. 19. You might catch a glimpse of Steve Martin.

    Steve Martin, left, and Martin Short will bring “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life” to the Mahaffey Theater on Jan. 19.
  5. Report: Well-being of black and Hispanic children continues to lag in Florida

    K12

    Despite making progress in health care access and parental employment, Florida has not improved its poverty rate for children over the past five years, a newly released national report shows.

    Students line up in the courtyard at predominantly black Lakewood Elementary in St. Petersburg. A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that Florida ranks 28th in the nation on an index that measures the well-being of black children. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]