Expectant mothers and families in the Lake Houston community can take comfort in knowing that Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital has taken a giant step towards improving the health of newborns and infants by earning re-designation as a Texas Ten Step Program facility by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The Texas Ten Step Program encourages breastfeeding as the preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants. Memorial Hermann Northeast is among a growing number of Texas birth facilities that are supporting new mothers and their decision to breastfeed their newborns.
Based on the World Health Organization (WHO)/ UNICEF’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the program aims to assist birth facility’s support of breastfeeding mothers before, during and after delivery; encourages them to identify breastfeeding resources for the mother after she is discharged; and assists facilities in improving on national performance measures such as the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Breastfeeding Report Card.
As the goal of the Texas Ten Step Program is to increase breastfeeding initiation rates to 82 percent, Texas Ten Step facilities are asked to address 85 percent of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, be designated as a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite, evaluate their breastfeeding policies, maternity care practices and educate all healthcare staff routinely with evidence-based courses.
Approximately 1,500 babies are born each year at Memorial Hermann Northeast. The hospital offers breast-feeding classes for new moms as well as other resources for parents.
For more information on the Texas Ten Step Program, call Veronica Hendrix, Program Coordinator at (512) 341-4592, or visit the web site at texastenstep.org.