Genesis Medical Center, Davenport Selected To Join Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative - Genesis Health System

Published on September 08, 2015

Genesis Medical Center, Davenport Selected to Join Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Genesis Medical Center, Davenport has been selected to be among the first hospitals in the nation to join the EMPower Initiative to enhance maternity care practices and work toward achieving the Baby Friendly USA© designation.

EMPower is a three-year, hospital-based quality improvement initiative that focuses on maternity practices leading to Baby-Friendly designation. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EMPower aims to increase breastfeeding rates throughout the United States and promote and support optimal breastfeeding practices toward the ultimate goal of improving the public’s health.

“The Genesis BirthCenter in Davenport is very excited to be among the first in the nation to lead this important initiative that fosters the best care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding,” said Kenneth Naylor, M.D., an OB/GYN and medical director of the Genesis BirthCenter in Davenport.

“We’re proud that our breastfeeding rates already exceed the national average; however, we want to do even more to support mothers who breastfeed and also to support safe feeding practices for those mothers who are not able to or choose not to breastfeed.”

As part of this effort, the Genesis BirthCenter in Davenport will receive ongoing support in breastfeeding practices from experienced coaches, as well as training and resource support in lactation education. The effort supports evidence-based practices for prenatal and maternity settings known as the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, an effort to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that complete the Ten Steps.

The BirthCenter in Davenport has experienced lactation consultants who assist new mothers with breastfeeding and offers a Breastfeeding Basics class and breastfeeding support group. The BirthCenter also practices “The Golden Hour” right after birth.

“During their first hour of life, newborn babies are dried off, placed skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest, and covered with a blanket to promote bonding and help the baby adjust to the outside world,” Dr. Naylor said. “Not only does this quiet time of skin-to-skin contact stabilize breathing, heart rate and blood sugar, but it also stimulates the baby’s natural instinct to breastfeed.”

Breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life. It is also packed with disease-fighting substances that protect a baby from illness. Breastfeeding can protect a baby from a long list of illnesses, such as ear infections, meningitis, lower respiratory illness, stomach viruses, asthma and allergies; improve cognitive development; and, may protect against obesity and lower a baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Breastfeeding can also reduce a mom’s stress level; reduce the risk of postpartum depression; and, may reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

“Breastfeeding is natural, but new families often need support. The International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) and staff at the BirthCenter in Davenport are there to assist new mothers with breastfeeding. This allows them to breastfeed more successfully and have an easier transition to home and the workplace,” said Julie Cutler, RN, IBCLC, at the Genesis BirthCenter in Davenport.

Genesis Medical Center, Davenport has twice been named the Top Ranked Community Hospital in Iowa by U.S. News & World Report. Genesis BirthCenters in Davenport and Silvis deliver the comfort of home with updated rooms; care from the area’s top providers; the Quad City region’s only “A” ratings for patient safety; and, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staffed by neonatologists from the nationally renowned University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Learn more at

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, launched in the United States in 1996, designates as “Baby-Friendly” hospitals that meet the criteria for women to initiate and continue with breastfeeding. 

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