Garden City hospital qualifies for High 5 for Mom & Baby Hospital status

(GARDEN CITY, KAS) -St. Catherine Hospital, Garden City, has integrated specific new maternity care procedures based on the proven health benefits associated with breastfeeding, and now qualifies for the High 5 for Mom & Babyrecognition.

The High 5 program -- initiated, funded, and provided at no charge to Kansas hospitals by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund -- is founded on key hospital practices crucial for a successful breastfeeding experience. High 5 for Mom & Baby was developed by the Hutchinson-based Health Fund in conjunction with the Kansas Breastfeeding Workgroup.

Of the 50 hospitals and birth centers around the state having made a commitment to the High 5 program, St. Catherine Hospital is the fifteenth to qualify for the recognition. High 5 Program Coordinator, Gwen Whittit, RN, IBCLC, will acknowledge the hospitals accomplishment with an award presentation at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, in conjunction with the Southwest Kansas Ladies Pro-Am.

Janet Colson, IBCLC at the hospital, has guided the process of making the changes to adhere to the standards of breastfeeding practices established for the High 5 program. The educator for the High 5 program, Libby Rosen, PhD, RN, IBCLC, conducted on-site education classes at St. Catherine Hospital.

A very impressive total of 40 staff and interested community members participated in the classes, Rosen

In emphasizing the value of this program to the hospital and its maternity patients, program coordinator Whittit said that research indicates a link between not breastfeeding and increased health risks for a baby 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 derive health benefits according to Whittit. Those who breastfeed have a decreased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer,and type 2 diabetes.

The five best practices comprising the High 5 for Mom & Baby standards are: assuring immediate, sustained skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth; giving newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated; allowing rooming in so mothers and infants can remain together 24 hours a day; not giving pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants; and providing mothers options for breastfeeding support in the community.

More information about the High 5 for Mom & Baby program is available at

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Media Contacts: Katie Ross, Health Fund Program Officer | 620.662.8586 |
Shawna Deal, St. Catherine Hospital Community Relations Coordinator | 620-272-2529 (W) or 620-805-9959 (C)