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Healthy babies start here: WellSpan hospitals all earn breastfeeding honor

August 30, 2021

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A wide group of WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital team members helped the hospital to earn Keystone 10 designation. (This photo was not taken in a patient care setting, so no protective eyewear was required.)

A wide group of WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital team members helped the hospital to earn Keystone 10 designation. (This photo was not taken in a patient care setting, so no protective eyewear was required.)

Babies are getting the healthiest start in life across WellSpan, where every maternity unit now participates in the state Keystone 10 initiative.

WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital recently was designated as a Keystone 10 facility, a statewide initiative designed to improve the health of families by promoting and supporting breastfeeding. Other WellSpan hospitals that are designated Keystone 10 include WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital, WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, and WellSpan York Hospital.

All of these WellSpan hospitals have completed 10 steps to join the baby-friendly program. These steps include training all staff in breastfeeding skills, informing pregnant women about breastfeeding, helping new moms breastfeed within an hour of giving birth, keeping moms and babies in the same room, and supporting moms after discharge, among others.

“Our team members worked hard to obtain this designation because we know it was the right thing to do for local moms and their babies,” said Christina Creamer, assistant nurse manager of Family Birthing Services at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital. “This was a group effort involving nurses, obstetrics providers, neonatologists, and pediatricians. Our anesthesia providers also were involved, getting moms and new babies skin to skin in the operating room right after cesarean-section deliveries. We all are focused on the family’s success.”

Benefits of breastfeeding for babies include:

  • 50 percent reduction in risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
  • Protection from illnesses from breast milk antibodies.
  • Decreased risk of asthma and allergies.
  • Decreased childhood risk of weight or obesity problems.
  • Higher IQs found in babies fed human milk, according to studies.

Benefits of breastfeeding to moms include:

  • Decreased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Faster return to pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Decreased risk of osteoporosis.
  • Decreased lifetime risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • A unique way to bond with your baby.
  • A financial savings of $1,000 or more compared to formula feeding.

For more information about WellSpan’s breastfeeding support, go here.