A look inside Lafayette General’s only “Baby Friendly” hospital in the Hub City

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New mom Erika Littell just welcomed her new baby, Lucille.

It’s her third baby,  and a third C section.

 “My daughter which is our middle child now was really rooting for girl so we are all very happy that it was a girl,” Littell said.

Littell gave birth at Lafayette General Medical Center. She met with a lactation consultant and began breastfeeding right away.

  “The consultant meets with you asking questions about your previous history, just everything to make a possibility of being able to breast-feed your baby a reality,” she said.

Lafayette General Medical Center is now the only “Baby Friendly” birth facility in Lafayette.

It’s a global program through the world health organization focusing on optimal feeding for baby and mother bonding.

 “We had already done some of these things to some degree but baby friendly just takes it to that next level,” said Judy Robichaux, director of Maternal, Newborn and Pediatric Services at Lafayette General.

Once the baby is born, the work begins immediately for mom and baby bonding with skin-to-skin contact for the first full hour after birth.

 “We used to do skin to skin but we would take the baby over to weigh the baby first, do the different shots that we do, the eye ointments and then bring the baby back and do skin to skin,” Robichaux said. “Totally different when you do it immediately.”

Lactation consultants are also there to aid in breastfeeding.

“They keep their temperature up better if there skin to skin with mom. Their breathing, if they have any breathing issues, resolves a lot quicker,” Karen Laverne, lactation consultant, said. “Their sugar stabilizes much quicker so it’s been good all around.”

It helps protect the babies from infections.

“It does protect them from SIDS, offers protection from obesity, things like that that can lead to other diseases,” said Laverne.

So for expecting mom, health professional say its important to know all the information out there to have the best possible outcome for mom and baby.

The Baby Friendly program is a 10-step process that could take health care facilities years to implement.

Consultant help moms who choose not to or who aren’t able to breastfeed with bottle feeding.

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