womens-and-childrensParis Regional Medical Center Women’s and Children’s Hospital has received designation as a Texas Ten Step Facility by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The program encourages breastfeeding as the preferred feeding method for newborns and infants. The Texas Ten Step 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, which impacts the overall health of moms and their newborns. The goal of the Texas Ten Step Program is to have 82 percent of infants exclusively breastfeeding when discharged.

According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, babies who breastfeed have a lower risk of gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome, obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, allergies, asthma and lactose intolerance. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding. The longer mothers breastfeed, the greater their protection against breast and ovarian cancer and hip fractures later in life. Recent evidence has also demonstrated an association between prolonged breastfeeding and postmenopausal risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s Breastfeeding Class initiative, works to increase awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.

After delivery, new mothers are transferred to the hospital’s Mother-Baby Unit for couplet care, which allows mothers and newborns to remain together throughout their stay. The unit features private rooms, a highly sophisticated security monitoring system, and experienced nursing staff. In addition, PRMC is in the process of becoming equipped to care for most infants 28 weeks and older in its Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.