Newton Medical Center (NMC) has met the requirements and received renewal of its High 5 for Mom & Baby status.
The High 5 program – initiated, funded and provided at no charge to Kansas hospitals by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund – incorporates specific new maternity care procedures based on proven health benefits associated with breastfeeding. High 5 for Mom & Baby was developed by the Hutchinson-based Health Fund in conjunction with the Kansas Breastfeeding Workgroup.
“The value of breastfeeding, for both mom and baby, extends far beyond infancy,” said Briana Ainsworth, director of maternal child services at NMC. “So it’s exciting to be a part of a program that highlights the importance of breastfeeding in hospitals across the state.”
To date, NMC is one of 28 facilities to have earned High 5 for Mom & Baby recognition. In order to qualify for the annual renewal, NMC met the High 5 program’s criteria pertaining to performance ratings, hospital policies, and staff certification and education.
“Newton Medical Center’s ongoing commitment to excellence in maternity care as a recognized High 5 hospital reassures parents planning to breastfeed that they will be in the best possible hands,” said Gwen Whittit, High 5 program coordinator. “And, most importantly, it provides moms and babies in the Newton community with numerous health benefits that will last a lifetime.”
Research supported by the surgeon general indicates a link between not breastfeeding and increased health risks for babies including high blood pressure, type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, leukemia and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Studies also show a definite correlation to childhood and adolescent obesity for those who were not breastfed. In addition, mothers who breastfeed derive health benefits including a decreased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
For more information about High 5 for Mom & Baby, including the renewal criteria and breastfeeding best practices, visit www.High5Kansas.org.
About Newton Medical Center
Newton Medical Center is a 103-bed hospital in Newton, Kan., providing comprehensive medical care to those in Harvey and surrounding counties. Services and specialties include emergency medicine, surgical services, occupational medicine, home health and more. The hospital, which also includes 12 primary care and specialty clinics, is conveniently located at the intersection of I-135 and Highway 50. For more information, call 316-283-2700 or visit www.newtonmed.com.