Jul 23, 2018

Congratulations to Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, Louisiana, for achieving Baby-Friendly designation on July 12, 2018! Touro was part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program, during 2014-2017. It is a large, academic and private practice, level III obstetric facility with a level III NICU, and it performs approximately 3,300 deliveries annually. It is one of only two birthing hospitals in the city of New Orleans. The other birthing hospital, Ochsner Baptist, with approximately 2,997 births per year, was also part of CHAMPS and received Baby-Friendly designation on October 31, 2017. The fact that all births in New Orleans will now take place under the Baby-Friendly model of care is truly something to celebrate!

“Receiving Baby-Friendly designation is a well-deserved honor and accomplishment for the Touro Family Birthing Center team,” says Kim Faught, RN BSN, Director of Women’s Services at Touro Infirmary. “This recognizes our dedication to high quality maternal and newborn care. Even though Baby Friendly centers around breastfeeding, it represents a change in the way in which care to the mother and baby is delivered. As a leader in maternity care in New Orleans, it is important for Touro to lead the way in providing comprehensive care to our patients. The care supported by the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (the Ten Steps) allows us to do that.”

“The Baby-Friendly journey was a long one for Touro,” Kim shares honestly.

They officially began their Baby-Friendly journey in February 2015 when they entered the Discovery phase. Then, they reorganized their team and approach in December 2016 and re-launched their Baby-Friendly journey in January 2017. One of their biggest changes, Kim says, was the provision of consistent and standardized patient education. Shannon Grosch, RN, BSN, IBCLC, Lactation Consultant and CHAMPS Team Lead at Touro, led the charge on devising a very successful, creative and organized prenatal education system.

Kim shares that their senior administrative team was very supportive from the onset, but getting nurse and physician commitment and buy-in was one of their greatest challenges. However, once the staff embraced Touro’s commitment to the Ten Steps as “the model for care delivery, [their] forward progress became steady.” Meeting the criteria for the Ten Steps also earned Touro “Gift” designation from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Bureau of Family Health, which provided additional evidence-based breastfeeding resources to assist in their journey towards Baby Friendly.

What is Kim’s advice to other hospitals seeking Baby-Friendly designation?

“Stay the course…it is a marathon, not a sprint,” Kim says. “Celebrate even the smallest victories (and celebrate often) with the team and staff. Hold each member of the team and staff accountable. Formulation of a clear infant feeding policy is the foundation to success. Educate…educate…educate….if you think the staff has been educated, do it again! Touro could not have moved through the Designation phase in one year without the guidance from the CHAMPS staff. They provided us with useful and practical advice that led us to a successful survey. The audit tools provided by CHAMPS were invaluable as was the mock on-site Baby-Friendly survey.”

“It’s a long journey and receiving our designation is something for which we are extremely proud,” Kim says. “Our success represents the dedication of our staff and the support of our administration and physician champions.”

Well done, Touro! We celebrate this extraordinary accomplishment with you!