DCH Birthing Center is sleep champ

Dearborn County Hospital’s Birthing Center has always been well known for its excellent clinical care, attentive and caring professional staff, and beautifully appointed private patient rooms.

Now, the DCH Birthing Center is being recognized for implementing the highest level of safe sleep practices for its newborns by being designated as a Gold Safe Sleep Champion by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program.

The certification letter received by the hospital notes that the DCH Birthing Center has “demonstrated a commitment to community leadership for best practices and education on infant safe sleep through the development of a hospital policy, staff training, parent education, modeling through a wearable blanket program, affiliation with a Cribs for Kids® program, and a pledge to participate in ongoing audits.”

“There are three designation levels in the program and we are very proud that we have achieved the highest,” said Jacquie Ritzmann, RN, BSN, DCH Birthing Center Unit manager. “The gold designation is a testament to the time and effort our staff put into developing and implementing our safe sleep program. It is just one example of their ongoing dedication to seeing that our mothers and babies receive exceptional care while at DCH and that our newborns get off to the best possible start at home.”

“Two of the key points of our safe sleep initiative are to have babies sleep on their backs in cribs and to encourage parents to use wearable blankets for their infants,” explained Jenny Miller, RN, DCH Birthing Center educator/lactation counselor. “The wearable blanket keeps the baby comfortable without the use of traditional blankets and other bedding which could contribute to suffocation.

“We use Halo® SleepSacks®, a form of wearable blanket, while the babies are in the birthing center and all of our newborns go home with two SleepSacks, one for use now and one for a few months from now,” she added. “The SleepSacks are provided to the birthing center through the generosity of the Dearborn County Hospital Auxiliary and the Ellise Brown Foundation.”

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations such as All Baby & Child, The National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids In Danger, Children’s Safety Network, American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, CJ Foundation for SIDS and numerous state American Academy of Pediatrics chapters and health departments.

DCH’s Birthing Center features seven private LDRPN (labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum, nursery) suites. Attractively decorated antepartum and postpartum rooms are also available as is a special OB triage room designed for mothers who come to the unit for short term observation, premature labor or other special needs.

The Birthing Center also offers the expertise of two International Board Certified lactation consultants. In addition, breastfeeding classes and childbirth classes are scheduled throughout the year.

For more information on the Dearborn County Hospital Birthing Center, its safe sleep initiative, or to schedule a personalized tour, please call the Birthing Center at 812/537-8273 or 800/676-5572, ext. 8273.