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SCKMC OB Receives “High 5”

The February South Central Kansas Medical Center Board of Trustees meeting began by recognizing the efforts of the obstetrics department in their support of breastfeeding through the High 5 for Mom and Baby program.

March 2, 2018

Arkansas City, KS – The February South Central Kansas Medical Center Board of Trustees meeting began by recognizing the efforts of the obstetrics department in their support of breastfeeding through the High 5 for Mom and Baby program. High 5 is a statewide breastfeeding initiative comprised of healthcare professionals, lactation specialists, breastfeeding advocates, and others interested in improving the health of Kansans.

“I’m very proud to say that here in Cowley County, Ark City especially, that moms and babies are getting the very best care and we are here to recognize your hospital as a High5 for Mom and Baby hospital,” said Gwen Whittit, Program Coordinator for High 5 for Mom and Baby.

The High 5 program encourages adoption of five evidence-based maternity care practices that support breastfeeding success. To be recognized as a High 5 program participant, a facility must complete the following practices at 80% or greater, and have policies in place to support those practices:

1.       Assure immediate and sustained skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth.

2.       Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.

3.       Practice “rooming in” -- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.

4.       Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.

5.       Provide mothers options for breastfeeding support in the community upon discharge.

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High 5 for Mom and Baby is supported by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. The program began as a way for the health fund to have an impact on childhood obesity.

“Through the research they looked at, everything was pointing them to the very first food the baby eats, which is recommended by many organizations the United States to be breast milk. Our program specifically works on improving breast feeding rates in your hospital,” Whittit said.

The High 5 program began in 2012, with SCKMC joining in 2013. Shaylee Jagels, SCKMC’s OB Manager, has championed the cause for the medical center since the beginning. Whittit presented Jagels a High 5 facility recognition plaque to be displayed within the OB department.

“This is something we have been working on for quite a while. It feels pretty good to have this in place for moms and babies in Ark City,” Jagels said.

Both Jagels and Whittit believe that, through the High 5 program, infants are starting off in a healthy direction.

“With all the hardwork here, you have made change which will support moms and babies in your community with life-long health benefits,” Whittit said.

(Pictured): Shaylee Jagels, South Central Kansas Medical Center’s OB Manager, (left) accepts a plaque from Gwen Whittit, Program Coordinator for High 5 for Mom and Baby, recognizing the medical center for their efforts in supporting breastfeeding.