DHMH Seeks Public Comment on Hospital Breastfeeding Policy Recommendations

 BALTIMORE, MD (August 23, 2012) – August is Breastfeeding Month and, in addition to a signed proclamation from Governor Martin O’Malley, the State of Maryland is marking the month by releasing for public comment policy recommendations for birthing hospitals related to breastfeeding education, promotion and support. 
“Hospitals play a critical role in supporting mothers who choose to breastfeed,” said Frances Phillips, Deputy Secretary for Public Health.  “These draft recommendations set out best practices to increase breastfeeding rates across the state.”
 
The proposed recommendations encourage hospitals to either (1) attain “Baby-Friendly” status through the World Health Organization-adopted Baby Friendly program or (2) meet 10 key evidence-based practices. 
 
The proposed recommendations include:
 
#1: Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all hospital staff.
#2: Train all hospital staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
#3: Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
#4: Help breastfeeding mothers initiate breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth.
#5: Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
#6: Show breastfeeding mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
#7: Practice “rooming in” – encourage breastfeeding mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
#8: Give breastfed infants no food or drink, other than breast milk, unless medically    indicated.
#9: Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants in the hospital, unless            medically indicated.
#10: Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer breastfeeding mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
 
In Maryland, DHMH is aware of several hospitals that are currently pursuing Baby-Friendly status including Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. Other hospitals have shared with the Department their interest in following evidence-based best practices for breastfeeding.
 
During the month of August, DHMH is seeking public comment on the 2012 Maryland Hospital Breastfeeding Policy Recommendations.  The policy is in the final draft stage, meaning that the Department will consider public comments before a final policy is published in September.
 
The public comment survey should be submitted by 5 p.m. September 7.  Comments may be submitted by going to the DHMH website www.dhmh.maryland.gov where there is a link under ‘Hot Topics’ to the 2012 Maryland Hospital Breastfeeding Policy Recommendations or by clicking on http://fha.dhmh.maryland.gov/mch/SitePages/hospital-bf-policy.aspx .
 

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WCHD News

(Snow Hill, MD)- Worcester County Emergency Service officials urge residents to exercise extreme caution and check on elderly and infirm neighbors during the heatwave forecasted to last through Sunday. Heat indexes for the shore are expected to rise above 100 degrees this week and exposure to extreme heat can be dangerous for humans and animals, even deadly.

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Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

Learn more tips for staying cool and safe during extreme heat by clicking the image below

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