With continued efforts to support a healthy Mississippi, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi is pleased to announce Forrest General Hospital, located in Hattiesburg, as the first Network Hospital in the state to achieve international recognition as a Baby-Friendly facility. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital designation is part of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi’s Maternity Quality Model, which is aligned with Blue Distinction Maternity Care, to support healthy mothers and healthy babies. The first phase of the Maternity Quality Model was the launch of the 39 Weeks Initiative, introduced in January 2015, to reduce early-term elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestation with no medical reason. The Maternity Quality Model also includes care coordination between Network Providers, as well as the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi is partnering with the Mississippi State Department of Health and CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices), an initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to assist Network Hospitals in achieving the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation through education and training. Baby-Friendly Hospital designation ensures consistent evidence-based care during the prenatal period, delivery and after baby arrives. Hospitals that attain this designation provide safe, family-centered care, including encouraging breastfeeding. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi also supports members in choosing to breastfeed their babies by providing coverage for the breast pump that best meets their needs.
“Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi applauds Forrest General Hospital as the first Network Hospital to achieve Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. designation in Mississippi,” said Dr. Sarah Broom, Medical Director of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi. “We will continue to highlight and support the efforts of our Network Hospitals who are focused on improving maternity care.”
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi anticipates all delivering Network Hospitals will achieve Baby-Friendly Hospital designation through 2017-2018. Network Hospitals are encouraged to follow the Maternity Quality Model with the goal of becoming a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care. Learn more about the Baby-Friendly initiative and the 39 Weeks Initiative to reduce elective early-term deliveries.