Haywood Regional earns Golden Bow award

August 2, 2017

Haywood Regional Medical Center was recently presented the Golden Bow Award by the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition (NCBC) in recognition of outstanding efforts to support breastfeeding.

The Golden Bow Award was launched in 2008 by the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition (NCBC) to honor hospitals that implement policies to promote breastfeeding, specifically discouraging the distribution of infant formula companies' bags to new mothers.

Haywood Regional applied for and was qualified to win the award because of the commitment to no longer distribute infant formula manufacturer discharge bags and to provide breastfeeding-friendly maternity care, according to the NCBC.

“We are really excited about receiving the award,” said Jennifer Passwaters, BSN, RN, IBCLC, one of Haywood’s lactation consultants.  “It is a big step toward our end goal.”

Receiving the award is validation that Haywood Regional is on the right track in regards to encouraging breastfeeding in the region. Haywood has also begun the process of obtaining the North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly designation and winning the Golden Bow Award will help contribute to achieving this distinction.

“There are numerous efforts in place to encourage breastfeeding at Haywood and new research every day that highlight the benefits of breastfeeding,” said Passwaters.

In recent years, Haywood has implemented various initiatives to encourage breastfeeding at the facility, including hiring two lactation consultants and implementing a “rooming-in” policy, which allows a newborn to stay in the room with parents continuously until discharged thus allowing additional time to bond together while in the hospital.

Passwaters added that it is the hospital’s mission to help educate the community about the importance of breastfeeding and the impact it can have on a community.  The goal is to provide patients with individual care for the needs of the mother and baby while providing help with breastfeeding and reducing health care costs.

According to Laura Willis, BSN, RN, IBCLC, breastfeeding can change the health status of a community. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that the risk of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections in the first year is reduced 72% if infants breastfed exclusively for four months. Exclusive breastfeeding for more than three months reduces the risk of otitis media (ear infections) by 50%. Serious colds and ear and throat infections were reduced by 63% in infants who exclusively breastfed for six months. Breastfeeding is associated with a 36% reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The list of additional benefits include reduced risk of allergies, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, diabetes, and childhood leukemia and lymphoma.  

Willis emphasizes that our community needs greater awareness of the vast benefits associated with breastfeeding.  CDC data from 2014 indicates that three quarters (77.2%) of North Carolina mother-baby pairs initiate breastfeeding but only 48.3% are breastfeeding at six months.

In order to assist and educate breastfeeding mothers and their family members, Haywood Regional hosts Breastfeeding Education classes. The upcoming one time classes are scheduled on August 31, 2017 and November 9, 2017 – to register, call 828.452.8440.  In addition, Haywood offers parent education classes such as Preparation for Childbirth, Big Brother/Big Sister, Your Amazing Newborn, and a Mother’s Connection support group.  

For more information, visit www.myhaywoodregional.com/breastfeeding or contact Lactation Consultant Jennifer Passwaters or Laura Willis at 828.452.8440.


References:

American Academy of Pediatrics - http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827#T2
North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition: http://ncbfc.org/ncbc-projects/ban-the-bags/
CDC Breastfeeding Report Card - https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/pdf/2014breastfeedingreportcard.pdf