Covenant Women’s Center is a designated Texas Ten Step Facility and
is diligently working towards the Baby-Friendly Hospital Designation.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital is a global program and effort launched by
the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s
Fund (UNICEF). The program is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing
hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care by
awarding this designation for successfully implementing the Ten Steps
to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of
Breast-milk Substitutes. Mothers are provided information, confidence
and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding
More than two decades of research have established that breast milk is
perfectly suited to nourish infants and protect them from illness. Breast-fed
infants have lower rates of hospital admissions, ear infections, diarrhea,
rashes, allergies and other medical problems than formula fed babies,
according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The greatest benefits
are derived when babies are breastfed exclusively (breastmilk is the only
food) for the first six months of life.
Covenant is focusing on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which are:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all
health care staff.
- Train all healthcare staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
- Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they
are separated from their infants.
- Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically
- Practice rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encourage unrestricted breastfeeding.
- Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers
to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
We offer in-patient breastfeeding education and lactation consultations.
We staff Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants who work
in concert with your nurse and physician when the need arises.
Covenant Hospital Practices the Following to Support Exclusive Breastfeeding
After delivery and recovery, you will be transported into one of our Mother-Baby
Suites for the remainder of your stay. These suites enable both mother
and baby to stay together and receive all care from our experienced Mother-Baby
nurses in the comfort of your own room. The suite also provides a comfortable
place for your support partner who we encourage to stay overnight.
Whether vaginal delivery or cesarean, we want to honor the first sacred
hour of your baby’s life. This takes place in the hour immediately
following delivery and is designed to give you, your baby and your support
partner some quiet time to establish bonds that will last a lifetime.
This connection of the unwrapped baby lying directly on your skin is called
skin-to-skin contact and can provide you and your baby time to get to
know each other. This initial snuggling also has very important health
benefits for you and your baby. Please
click here for our flyer with more information.
Research shows feeding cues may be masked, cause long stretches between
feedings, may affect suck and causes delay in milk supply. Recommended
use only after baby is breastfeeding well.
Beyond these practices, Covenant Hospital provides encouragement and support
for breastfeeding through our prenatal Breastfeeding Class and postpartum
breastfeeding support group and weight check clinics.
A Mother’s Choice
If bottle-feeding is your choice of infant nutrition, our staff provides
you with education on bottle feeding techniques and formula preparation
in a supportive environment.