Breast milk is the best food for babies. It gives them exactly what they need to grow healthy and strong, and it helps protect them from many illnesses. Plus, breastfeeding has important benefits for the mother, including helping her recover from pregnancy and possibly lowering her risk for diabetes, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Because breastfeeding has so many health benefits for the baby and mother, we do much to support it.
We are proud to be designated a "Show Me 5" Hospital by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. This means we have adopted five evidence-based maternity care practices that support breastfeeding initiation and duration:
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth
- Practice "rooming in," allowing infants to stay in the same room as their mothers
- Limit breastfeeding infants to breast milk (and no other liquids), unless medically indicated
- Do not give pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge
Lake Regional's breastfeeding rates are well above state and national average. In fiscal year 2020, our exclusive breastfeeding rate was 60.6 percent, compared to 46 percent in Missouri and 42.6 percent nationally.
Plus, Lake Regional is a breastfeeding friendly place to work, offering a lactation room for employees.
Our licensed lactation consultant, Annie Havner, R.N., BSN, IBCLC, is available to help you with breastfeeding during your stay with us and after you go home. Plus, she leads Baby, Breastfeeding and Beyond. This class for expectant parents covers breastfeeding, as well as newborn characteristics, diapering, bathing, car seat safety and much more.
For more information on any of our breastfeeding support offerings, call 573.302.2999.