Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers and their Babies

Members of UChicago Medicine’s Mother and Baby care team were integral in achieving Baby-Friendly designation.

UChicago Medicine is constantly implementing and pursuing initiatives to drive evidence-based practices that improve the health of patients.

In March 2018, we received international recognition for offering exceptional care to breastfeeding mothers and their babies at the UChicago Medicine Family Birth Center. For five years, nurses and leadership worked together to enhance practices to support the health and well-being of moms and their newborn babies through breastfeeding, which has been proven to improve health outcomes and lower babies’ risks for certain diseases.

“Baby-Friendly designation allows our patients and their families to know UChicago Medicine adheres to the highest standards regarding the babies and mothers in our care,” said Emily Lowder, vice president of Comer Children’s Hospital and Advanced Practice Nursing Services. “This designation should be something that all faculty and staff are truly honored to have been a part in obtaining.”

“Our patient care managers in Labor and Delivery and Mother and Baby, Star Rebb and Melissa Benesh, were essential in leading and engaging their teams to drive changes to improve our evidence-based practices in caring for mothers and babies,” said Jennie Sierra, MSN, MBA, RN, director of Women’s Care Center. “Our nurses completed 20 hours of breastfeeding education and continue to be engaged in enhancing best practices to support moms and babies.”

As a result of the dedication and initiative of nurses, in collaboration with leadership, UChicago Medicine has become one of 491 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the U.S. Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, which is sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. Based on their “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” this group recognizes birthing facilities that offer mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.