JACKSON - The West Tennessee Women's Center at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital recently held a ribbon cutting to commemorate the opening of its new nursery. The event was held in conjunction with the Jackson Chamber.
Located on the A3 Mother/Baby Floor, the nursery provides "baby friendly" best practices that promote the greatest opportunity for bonding between mother and baby. Best practices offered include Couplet Care, Skin to Skin Contact and breastfeeding support and education. Couplet Care, or rooming-in, is the practice of moms and babies staying together the entire hospital stay regardless if mom is breast or bottle-feeding. Rooming-in has many benefits for mom and baby including mothers learning key baby feeding cues and how to respond as well as babies getting better quality sleep, crying less and the ability to be calmed easier. Skin to Skin encourages mothers to hold their healthy babies with skin to skin contact as soon as possible after birth in an unhurried environment. This helps bonding and a successful first breastfeeding experience, provides warmth, stabilizes the baby's blood sugar, and has a calming effect.
Deena Kail, executive director of West Tennessee Women's Center and Ayers Children's Medical Center says providing support for new moms has been a focus at the hospital for some time.
Approximately 3,100 deliveries occur each year at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. In 2015 the hospital was selected to be among the first hospitals in the nation to join the EMPower Initiative to enhance maternity care practices and work toward achieving the Baby Friendly USA© designation. EMPower is a hospital-based quality improvement initiative focusing on maternity care practices leading to Baby-Friendly designation. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EMPower is aimed at increasing breastfeeding rates throughout the United States and promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices toward the ultimate goal of improving the public's health.