Turks and Caicos, August 3, 2017 – Providenciales – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital unveiled the first of two designated breastfeeding rooms during World Breast Feeding Week on Wednesday, 02 August 2017 as a continuation of its effort to implement the steps underscored in the global Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI).
While mothers may choose to breast feed in public spaces, the hospital has provided additional support for mothers through the option to nurse in a comfortable private space, if desired. The room located near the main entrance of Cheshire Hall Medical Centre and strategically positioned across from the designated baby changing room, was donned in soft hues of pink and blue with soothing lullabies.
In the coming months, the dedicated room will include a television, additional breast feeding resources, rocking chairs, and breast pumps will be made available for usage upon request. A breast feeding room has also been designated at Cockburn Town Medical Centre on Grand Turk and will be opening soon.
Yolande Pompey-Robinson became the first mother to utilize the special space at the medical centre on Providenciales with her 6-week old son, Jacob, who has become a poster child for breastfed babies. The local mother of three volunteered to publically breastfeed daily inside the hospital foyer to raise awareness of the healthiest form of feeding as part of the Maternity Unit’s exhibition.
The exhibition featured natural herbs to increase breast milk supply such as Fenugreek, Blessed thistle, Milk thistle and Fennel; foods to increase breast milk supply such as ground flaxseed, garlic, dark green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds and whole grain. Other items on display included prenatal vitamins, electric and manual breast pumps, reusable and disposable nursing pads, nursing bras, Lanolin Cream, breast milk storage bags and a cooler with icepacks used to store and transport stored breast milk.
The Hospital’s Baby Friendly Policy has been erected outside the Maternity Unit and inside the Breastfeeding Room at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre along with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding established by WHO and UNICEF. Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing facilities must adhere to the steps to receive, and retain, a Baby-Friendly designation. TCI Hospital seeks to acquire the designation by December 2019.
The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care staff in the 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 indicated.
- Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
- 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 birth center.
Press Release: interHealthCanada
Group Photo Caption(L-R): Lakeisha Wilson – Nutritionist, Primary Healthcare; Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant – IHC Chief of Medical Services; Dr. Dawn Perry-Ewing – IHC Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Mikette Bain – IHC Deputy Chief of Clinical Services.