Saint Luke’s South Hospital Recognized as Leader in Maternity Best Practices

July 18, 2017

Saint Luke’s South Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas, has received High 5 for Mom & Baby recognition for its integration of best practices for breastfeeding and bonding between mothers and newborns as part of its maternity care program.

The High 5 program, initiated, funded and provided by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, is founded on key practices crucial to a successful breastfeeding experience. The program offers two-hours of on-site training and educational support for hospitals to implement these proven practices to increase the adoption and duration of breastfeeding among new mothers.

Saint Luke’s South Maternity Services Coordinator Denise Ahnen guided the process for Saint Luke’s South. Last November, High 5 program educator, Libby Rosen, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC, conducted the on-site education classes at the hospital with 12 staff and community members, with additional Maternity Nursing staff completing necessary educational components.

“Through strong evidence based practice, policies and procedures as well as staff training we are able to provide the highest level of care to support our moms and babies both at the bedside and after they leave the hospital,” said Ahnen. “We are proud to be one of only 30 hospitals in the State of Kansas thus far to receive this designation, which exemplifies the highest standard of hospital care that supports breastfeeding."

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

The five 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.

Find a maternity class near Saint Luke's South.

About Saint Luke’s South Hospital
Saint Luke’s South Hospital is part of Saint Luke's Health System, which consists of 10 area hospitals and campuses and many primary care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.

Learn more about Saint Luke's South Hospital.