SwedishAmerican Mother/Baby Department Partners with Boone County Health Department to Provide Free Services to New Moms

SwedishAmerican delivers more babies than any other hospital in northern Illinois, from Winnebago County residents to Ogle County, Boone County and beyond. Recently, SwedishAmerican’s Mother/Baby department teamed up with the Boone County Health Department to offer free services to patients who currently live in the county. This is a unique relationship as the health department currently only partners with SwedishAmerican, however hopes to expand the program in the future and partner with other Rockford area hospitals.

Several times a week, a staff member of the Boone County Health Department’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) Program travels to SwedishAmerican Hospital to visit with Boone County patients who recently had a baby. The health department talks to the patient about several free services it offers from WIC to breastfeeding classes, to individual lactation consultations, baby weigh-ins, phone support, and more. The intent of these bedside visits is to inform patients about all of the great resources their local health department provides to new moms in Boone County.

“Moms who deliver their newborn at SwedishAmerican receive great breastfeeding guidance while they are in the hospital, however once they are discharged they may need continued support and not know who to call,” says Boone County Health Department Administrator Amanda Mehl. “That’s why our collaborative partnership with SwedishAmerican is so valuable. It helps us connect directly with Boone County patients to inform them of all of the great public health resources available to them once they leave the hospital.”

SwedishAmerican recently earned the prestigious Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) designation, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals that provide an optimal level of care for breastfeeding and mother/baby bonding. Part of the three-year application process encouraged hospitals to form community relationships to support new mothers with breastfeeding. That’s when the SwedishAmerican and Boone County Health Department relationship formed. Swedes also is currently trying to partner with the Winnebago County Health Department on a similar program.

“Our relationship with the Boone County Health Department has been so beneficial for our Boone County patients,” says SwedishAmerican Mother/Baby Nurse Manager Jan Southard. “There are so many great resources available in our community, however people are unaware of them. This is one way we can help connect our new parents with these resources so they can lead healthier lives with their newborn baby once they leave the hospital.”

SwedishAmerican also offers free services to new mom’s, including a childbirth class, breastfeeding class and post-partum breastfeeding support group that meets every Tuesday from 1 – 2:30 PM in the Renaissance Pavilion.
To learn more about Boone County Health Department’s maternal child health services, please call (815) 544-9730. To learn more about SwedishAmerican’s free services, please visit www.swedishamerican.org/calendar_news/calendar/.

About SwedishAmerican
A division of UW Health, SwedishAmerican is dedicated to providing excellence in healthcare and compassionate care to the community. The organization serves residents of 12 counties in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin through a dedicated and caring staff, a major acute care hospital and a free-standing outpatient cancer center in Rockford, a medical center in Belvidere, a network of 30 primary care and multi-specialty clinics and the region’s largest home healthcare agency. Additionally, SwedishAmerican has achieved Magnet® recognition as a reflection of its nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority in patient care.

About Boone County Health Department
The Boone County Health Department is a local health department committed to serving the health needs of its almost 54,000 residents. Established in 1966, our mission is to protect and promote health in Boone County.

For further information, contact:

Katryna Kirby