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The Women’s Hospital at Renaissance receives Texas Ten Step Designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services

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Edinburg, TX — Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Health System (DHR) and the Women’s Hospital at Renaissance have taken a giant step towards improving the health of newborns and infants by earning the Texas Ten Step Program facility designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Founded in 1999, the Texas Ten Step Program serves as a method to improve maternity care practices in birthing facilities. This is the fifth time that DHR has been designated as a Texas Ten Step Program facility, earning its original designation in 2008.

The long-term benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers are undisputed. Breastfeeding is linked to a decreased risk for infant illness and mortality, as well as reduced risk for maternal illness. The Texas Ten Step Program encourages breastfeeding as the preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants. DHR joins a growing number of Texas birth facilities that are supporting new mothers in their decision to breastfeed.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO)/ UNICEF’s “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” the program aims to assist birth facility’s support of breastfeeding mothers before, during, and after delivery. The program encourages facilities to identify breastfeeding resources for the mother after she is discharged. The program assists facilities in improving on national performance measures such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Breastfeeding Report Card. The goal of the Texas Ten Step Program is to increase breastfeeding initiation rates to 82 percent.

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The Women’s Hospital at Renaissance (WHR) has nurses that are specially trained in breastfeeding who can help with breastfeeding basics as well as more advanced techniques when necessary. Our team also consists of board-certified lactation consultants who provide assistance, education, and special breastfeeding equipment for new mothers. WHR also houses the county’s only milk depot, where mothers can donate their milk to The Mother’s Milk Bank at Austin, which is the largest milk bank in the country. Donated mother’s milk is pasteurized, yet 70% of the immune factors that help protect babies from illness are preserved. Lifesaving donated milk given at the Women’s Hospital at Renaissance goes to babies in Texas and all over the United States, providing them with a safe alternative when mom’s own milk is not available.

The Texas Ten Step Program provides resources and a framework to help birthing facilities improve breastfeeding outcomes through incremental adoption of evidence-based practices. The designation recognizes hospitals that are implementing policies that are aligned with the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” and encourages continued progress toward pursuit of Baby-Friendly Hospital designation.

“We have worked very hard to earn the Texas Ten Step Program designation,” said Aida Gonzalez, MSN, RN, Vice President at the Women’s Hospital at Renaissance. “And we are proud to join the other select Texas hospitals in promoting breastfeeding to our new mothers.”

For more information on the Texas Ten Step Program, call Veronica Hendrix, Program Coordinator at (512) 341-4592, or visit the web site at www.texastenstep.org.

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