Newborn Eden Couch receives her first bath from parents, Tayna and Capt. Collin Couch, inside the family birthing section of the Wright-Patterson Medical Center April 23. The 88th Inpatient Operations Squadron Maternal Child Care Inpatient Flight is using evidence-based studies to improve existing processes and policies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michelle Gigante)

Maternity care at Wright-Patt med center recognized for excellence

The 88th Medical Group’s Maternal Child Care Inpatient Flight at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has received several accolades for its outstanding care and services for parents and their new bundles of joy.

On top of being awarded the Maternity Care Best Practice, Squadron Large Team of the Quarter and the Group Aim High award, the MCCIF was also recognized as the Most Breastfeeding Supportive Hospital Unit by the Ohio Lactation Consultant Association for outstanding work in promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

In addition, satisfaction surveys have shown that year to date, 100 percent of the patients at the MCCIF would recommend the facility to family and friends.

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Using current evidence-based studies, MCCIF flight commander Major Krisha Prentice said major changes were made to existing processes and policies to provide the best and safest practices for parents and their new baby. Prentice also added that the staff are fully trained on current practices and are key players in supporting patients with outstanding quality care.

“Breastfeeding has proven long-term health benefits, including prevention of common allergies, chronic illnesses, diabetes and obesity,” said Prentice. “Breastfeeding support within the first few days of an infant’s life is critical for lasting habits.”

The breastfeeding rate at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center has consistently been 90 percent or above during the inpatient stay. After discharge, patients have a lactation consultant available five days a week, as well as trained nurses and technicians who can provide 24/7 breastfeeding support.

Evidence also showed that skin-to-skin contact between a mom and baby along with breastfeeding within the first hour of life can help regulate infant vital signs and blood sugar levels.

The MCCIF allows one hour of uninterrupted skin-to-skin and breastfeeding immediately after delivery. They are also among the first mother-baby units in the area to implement skin to skin contact in the operating rooms after a cesarean section.

Senior Airman Dezaree Webb, MCCIF medical technician, explained that delaying infant bathing has also been linked to positive breastfeeding outcomes after delivery and the MCCIF is the first mother-baby unit in the area to implement delayed infant bathing after the first 24 hours of life.

“Submersion baths are performed at the bedside with the involvement of both parents when possible,” said Webb. “The baby is then dried off and immediately placed skin to skin with their mother. This method of bathing has improved breastfeeding rates by minimizing separation between mother and baby.”

The MCCIF is a nine-bed labor, delivery, postpartum and antepartum unit with approximately 420 infants born at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center each year.

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