KishHealth System Expands Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative


momnbabyBaby Friendly is an initiative that continues to move forward at both KishHealth System’s Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb and Valley West Hospital in Sandwich. Clinical Nurse Leader at Kishwaukee Hospital, Tami Johnson said, “Staff members at both locations have completed extensive education about the initiative and procedures that accompany this designation.”

The Sacred Hour is a new plan of care that has resulted from the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. The Sacred Hour is the hour or so after delivery during which mom, dad, and baby bond without outside interruptions. Medical and nursing care is continued, often with the baby skin to skin in mom’s arms, but visitors are not allowed in the rooms during this time. After initial bonding and the first feeding, moms may choose to allow visitors, but only when they feel comfortable doing so.

Healthy babies routinely are placed and positioned skin to skin with mothers after delivery. This also occurs in the operating room after a cesarean section. Any test or medication that the newborn may need is encouraged to be performed while he or she is skin to skin with mom. This practice has shown babies to be more relaxed allowing for the test to be completed more comfortably. Manager of Maternity Suites at Valley West Hospital Melissa Hilt stated, “Bathing of baby is routinely delayed until twelve hours of age to help stabilize the newborn’s blood sugar and temperature, helping to improve breastfeeding success.” Babies are also encouraged to stay in room with their moms, meaning baby does not go to the nursery when it is time to rest. “Research has shown that this practice allows for more peaceful sleep for both mom and baby,” said Johnson.

KishHealth System’s Maternity Suites is leading the way in the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. With the Baby Friendly plan of care already in place, the birth of a baby can be welcoming and stress free. The Maternity Suites departments at both Kishwaukee and Valley West Hospitals are here to make that happen.

For more information about the Maternity Suites in DeKalb or Sandwich please visit


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