Beebe Healthcare receives legislative proclamation for Baby-Friendly designation

Delaware House of Representatives Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, center, reads a proclamation honoring Beebe Healthcare for its commitment to babies. Shown are (l-r) Beebe Healthcare Board Member David A. Herbert; Beebe Women's Health Nurse Manager Denice Powell, RN; Beebe Lactation Specialist Nancy Hastings, RN, IBCLC; Schwartzkopf; Beebe Women's Health Unit Nurse Joanie Gay, RN; Beebe Executive Director of Women's Health Bridget Buckaloo, MSN, RNC-OB; and Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton. SOURCE SUBMITTED
May 20, 2014

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, the state House of Representatives and the stateSenate each honored Beebe Healthcare May 6 for its dedication to providing the best services for babies.

Earlier this year, Beebe Healthcare was the first healthcare system in Delaware to receive the Baby-Friendly designation from the World Health Organization and the United Children’s Fund. The three tributes made Tuesday recognize the hard work of everyone at Beebe, Markell said.

“Beebe received this recognition by working, over a period of five years, to adopt evidence-based maternity care practices that stress the importance of breastfeeding and how mothers and infants bond with each other following birth,” said Markell in the tribute. “This tribute recognizes Beebe Healthcare for endeavoring to deliver the highest quality of care and receiving the distinction of being Baby-Friendly.”

While the focus of Baby-Friendly is on breastfeeding, it also supports the importance of how a mother and infant bond with each other following birth, regardless of feeding method. Immediately after birth, the labor-and-delivery nurse gives the mother the baby to hold on her bare chest skin-to-skin to assist in stabilizing the baby's temperature and blood sugar, and to begin the bonding process. Mothers who give birth by cesarean section at Beebe can practice this skin-to-skin experience once they are in the recovery room.

Earning the designation as a Baby-Friendly hospital birthing center is a long process that includes many steps, such as lactation education for maternity nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners, midwives, pediatricians, and obstetricians, explains Nancy Hastings, RN, IBCLC, who has worked in Women’s Health at Beebe for more than 30 years. Even the hospitalists, pediatric nurses and Emergency Department staff were updated on the latest information on promoting, preserving and supporting a mother's choice to breastfeed.

The tributes recognize Beebe’s ability to provide care and customer service that is top-notch through the eyes of the baby, said Hastings.

“Babies want to be next to their mother. They want to drink milk from their mother,” Hastings said. “Everyone at Beebe wants all babies to have the very best start.”

Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes; Rep. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View; Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown; Sen. F. Gary Simpson, R-Milford; and Sen. Robert Venables Sr., D-Laurel sponsored the legislation to honor Beebe Healthcare.

Read more about Beebe Healthcare’s Women’s Health Pavilion at

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities it serves. It offers services throughout southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services. For more information, go to





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