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OHA and the Ohio Department of Health sponsor the Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies breastfeeding recognition program. The program recognizes maternity centers in Ohio that are taking steps to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in their organizations.

The program offers a number of opportunities for learning and networking in support of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

The Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies program recognizes hospitals for implementing the Ten Steps, using a modified application form. Hospitals can earn up to five stars, earning one star to every two steps achieved. Hospitals can choose which steps to implement and in which order.

Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis. Additional information and application materials are available at Questions? Check out our First Steps FAQ's.

Additional resources:  
First Steps Recognized Hospitals

Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies proudly recognizes 82 Ohio hospitals that have earned recognition for achieving a level in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Bag Free Designation

First Steps for Healthy Babies, in partnership with the Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance and the Ohio Lactation Consultant Association, presented Maternity Care Best Practice Award 2017 Bag Free Recognition to hospitals for removal of free infant formula samples and formula company branded diaper bags and goods.

This supports hospitals in progress towards practices that align with Baby Friendly USA certification requirements, as well as the overall goal of reducing infant mortality in Ohio.

Click here to view the 2017 Bag Free Hospitals

Applications have closed. Contact Ryan if your hospital is looking to become recognized.

Promoting Breastfeeding
Many leading health organizations agree that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued exposure to breast milk for at least the first 12 months is associated with improved infant health and a reduction in infant mortality.

Increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration is the third statewide effort in support of OHA's infant mortality reduction plan.

Click here to view poster
Important Resources:

Ohio Shared Best Practices

University of Cincinnati Medical Center

Kettering College & Kettering Medical Center

University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital

If you have any resources you would like to share with the hospitals in the state initiative, please contact Ryan Everett.
 Educational Opportunities

The Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies program offers training opportunities to support best practices in promoting breastfeeding initiation and duration.

Fatherhood/Partner Engagement - Educational Webinar (June 2017)

Presenter Lydia Furman, MD, from UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital presented the evidence in support of engaging fathers and partners in support of breastfeeding. Sandi Hoch, RN, BSN & Steve Killpack, MS, shared best practices, resources, and strategies for engaging with fathers and partners.

Recorded Session  |  Slide Deck  |  Fatherhood Wallet Cards version 1 & version 2

Coaching Call & Ohio Best Practice (May 2017)

Presenters Anne Brower, RN, BS, IBCLC, Maria Greene, RN, BSN, IBCLC, and Mary Shay, RN, MSN, IBCLC, from Premier Health, shared an Ohio best practice on leadership and staff engagement and education. This was followed by an open coaching call where hospitals shared obstacles and solutions around supporting breastfeeding in their facilities.

Recorded Session  |  Slide Deck

Data Collection - Educational Webinar (April 2017)

Presenter Beth White, MSN, CNS, from the Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative, provided updates around hospital-reported breastfeeding metrics with specific focus around the Ohio birth registry database. Libby Svoboda, MEd, BSN, RN, IBCLC, FACCE, from UH MacDonald Women's Hospital shared their facility's processes around quantitative and qualitative data collection. Kayla Gilkey, RN, C-EFM & Marcia Fisher, RNC, BSN, IBCLC, from Licking Memorial Hospital shared examples of how they utilized data collection to drive quality improvement outcomes around breastfeeding.

Recorded Session  |  Slide Deck

Breastfeeding Skills Lab - Step 2 Coaching and Educational Webinar (March 2017)

Presenter Mary McLaughlin, BSN, RN, IBCLC from University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital, demonstrated how to lead a breastfeeding skills lab with hospital staff, in support of Step 2.

Recorded Session  |  Slide Deck  |  Example Personnel Competency Checklist

Disparities in Breastfeeding - Coaching and Educational Webinar (February 2017)

Presenter Kimarie Bugg, MSN, MPH, CLC, chief empowerment officer and change leader of Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (R.O.S.E.), discussed practical ways to address the disparities in breastfeeding. Susan Williamson, RN, BSN, IBCLC, from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, followed by sharing their best practices and successes. 

Recorded Session  |  Slide Deck

In 2016, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center held a conference on the topic of “What Can We Do to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Breastfeeding and Infant Mortality?”. This included many lectures as well as a Grand Rounds by the keynote speaker Dr. Michal Young of Howard University College of Medicine. The First Steps for Healthy Babies program was able to partner with Cincinnati Children’s in order to record and save the sessions from the day.

Instructions to view recorded sessions and obtain continuing education

Coaching and Educational Webinar (January 2017)

Presenter Coe Bell, RN, MSN, IBCLC, Cleveland Clinic and current president of the Ohio Lactation Consultant Association, shared successes and best practices that led to improvements in the exclusive breastfeeding rates at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital. 

Lori Nester from the Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance discussed a newly launched resource created for Ohio practitioners and patients.

Jennifer Foster discussed the 2016 Maternity Care Best Practice Award, hosted by First Steps, OLCA, and OBA. 

Recorded Session  |  Slide Deck

Step 3 – Inform All Pregnant Women About the Benefits and Management of Breastfeeding Educational Webinar (November 2016)

Presenters: Mary (Libby) Svoboda, Med, BSN, IBCLC, FACCE of University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital, and Jennifer Foster, BSN, RN, IBCLC, Summa Health System

For information about attending upcoming calls and to stay informed about future education opportunities,
email Ryan Everett

Baby-Friendly Hospitals

Congratulations to the following Ohio hospitals that have achieved Baby-Friendly Hospital status:

  • Cleveland Clinic Akron General
  • Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital 
  • Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital
  • Licking Memorial Hospital
  • OhioHealth Doctors Hospital 
  • OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital
  • Summa Akron City Hospital
  • University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center
  • University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital
  • University of Cincinnati Medical Center

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