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High 5 for Mom & Baby

Clay County Medical Center, Clay Center, is now a High 5 for Mom & Baby recognized facility. The medical center attained this status by integrating specific maternity care procedures based on the proven health benefits associated with breastfeeding and other key elements of bonding between mother and newborn.

The High 5 program -- initiated, funded, and provided at no charge to Kansas hospitals by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund -- is founded on key practices crucial for a successful breastfeeding experience. High 5 for Mom & Baby was developed by the Hutchinson-based Health Fund in conjunction with the Kansas Breastfeeding Workgroup.

Award Presentation
Of the 62 hospitals and birth centers around the state now having made a commitment to the High 5
program, Clay County is the 38th to qualify for the recognition. The process, guided by the hospital’s OB Coordinator Nicole Liby, RN, BSN, began in June 2015, when the educator for the High 5 program, Libby Rosen, PhD, RN, IBCLC, conducted on-site education classes at the center. A total of 20 staff and interested community members attended the session.

The High 5 program coordinator, Gwen Whittit, RN, IBCLC, will acknowledge this accomplishment of
Clay County Medical Center with an award presentation Friday, December 8, in Cay Center.
“From the time we first learned of this program, I have enthusiastically supported the efforts of our staff
as they worked through the process,”
said Austin Gillard, CEO of the medical center. “I am every proud of their determination and teamwork in earning the High 5 status for our hospital.”

The Five Best Practices & Benefits
According to Whittit, the five best practices comprising the High 5 for Mom & Baby standards are: assuring immediate, sustained skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth; giving newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated; allowing “rooming in” so mothers and infants can remain together 24 hours a day; not giving pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants; and providing mothers options for breastfeeding support in the community.

Research indicates a link between not breastfeeding and increased health risks for a baby including high blood pressure, type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Studies also show a definite correlation to childhood and adolescent obesity for those who were not breastfed. In addition, mothers derive health benefits. Those who breastfeed have a decreased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

More information about the High 5 for Mom & Baby program is available at www.High5Kansas.org