Tallahassee Memorial Accepted into National Breastfeeding Program

September 22, 2015

Women’s Pavilion Chosen for Selective EMPower Initiative

In support the organization’s commitment to become a Baby-Friendly hospital, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) has been selected to join the EMPower Breastfeeding initiative, a nationwide program to help hospitals enhance maternity care practices and work toward achieving Baby-Friendly USA© designation.  TMH is one of only 100 hospitals across the country, and the only hospital between Jacksonville and Pensacola, selected for this hospital-based quality improvement initiative funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As an organization, TMH is committed to increasing breastfeeding rates throughout the Big Bend region, promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices, and ultimately improving the health outcomes for children in the community.

“Breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her baby. At TMH, we play an important role in educating mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, supporting a new mother’s decision to breastfeed and providing techniques to help families be successful,” said Connie Styons, Administrator, Women and Children’s Services.  “We are excited to be participating in the EMPower initiative and continue our journey towards earning the Baby-Friendly designation.”

As an EMPower Initiative selected hospital, Tallahassee Memorial receives ongoing support in breastfeeding practices and quality improvement methods from experienced coaches, as well as training and resource support in lactation education. The effort supports evidence-based practices for prenatal and maternity settings known as the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.  The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, implemented in the United States by Baby-Friendly USA©, is a global effort of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage hospitals and birthing centers to achieve the Ten Steps and become Baby-Friendly designated. Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare is currently the only hospital in Tallahassee actively seeking this designation.