Mar 23, 2020

Congratulations to North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC)-Women’s Hospital, in Tupelo, Mississippi on their Baby-Friendly designation. The hospital achieved designation on March 2, 2020 after progressing through the Baby-Friendly Pathway for 4 years. NMMC Tupelo delivers about 1980 babies per year and manages a level III NICU.

“Being designated Baby Friendly feels like we are truly validated for the way most of us had wanted to treat moms and babies anyway! The evidence-based practices give me confidence in what we do, and there is joy in knowing so many other hospitals strive to deliver care the same way.”- Sabrina Ganaway, NICU Lactation Consultant, NMMC Tupelo.

When asked about their journey, the team recounted their experience with gratitude that they were able to make it through. “This has been a long journey for NMMC, but one that is very worth the work,” shared Kaila Reich, Clinical Educator for Mother Baby. They expressed that it was an extensive but rewarding process, which consisted of staff training and implementing practices such as skin-to-skin and rooming-in as the standard of care. By the team’s account, combining the postpartum and nursery to provide couplet care and ensuring rooming-in were the most challenging aspects of their Baby-Friendly Journey. However, they surmounted these obstacles and are proud that they now frequently have rooming-in rates of 100%. Through staff, physician and patient education, they were able to change hospital and community culture around rooming-in.

Furthermore, the process improved collaboration across hospital departments and made them a stronger team in the long run. “The nurses, physicians, and ancillary departments all had to adapt to a new way of delivering care when couplet care was put in place.  It took everyone at the table working together but we made it!” Betsy Knight, Lead Nursing Supervisor responded. She believes that the sweetest success is how intuitive it has become for them to help moms with breastfeeding.

The team would like to recognize Director of Nursing, Jennifer Caldwell, who got the staff organized and focused and spearheaded the final push for Baby-Friendly; the nursing staff, who went the extra mile to educate and empower patients to make informed choices; Lactation Nurses, Karen Bishop and Sabrina Ganaway, for their hard work, perseverance, and dedication; and Cheryl Russell, the former Director of Nursing, who led the project at the beginning of the journey.

Going forward, the NMMC Tupelo team intends to work towards sustaining their Baby-Friendly practices by recovering cesarean Sections in the Labor and Delivery unit and improving the skin to skin time for moms and babies of cesarean deliveries. They are optimistic about this next task!

Congratulations NMMC Tupelo, thank you for your hard work in achieving designation and good luck with your future goals!