SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City designated a Missouri “Show-Me 5” hospital for its breastfeeding-friendly practices


St. Mary's Hospital -  Jefferson City
 is designated a "Show-Me 5" Hospital.

Hospital joins prestigious group of fewer than 10 in the state​

Jefferson City, MO (Oct. 9, 2015) — SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital – Jefferson City was designated a Missouri "Show-Me 5" hospital for adopting the first five steps of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding from the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Alice Chatley, vice president of Acute Care Services and chief nursing officer for SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital – Jefferson City accepted the award from Gail Vasterling, director of the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, during a ceremony on Oct. 9 at the hospital.

            "Health experts agree that breastfeeding is the optimal way to feed a baby," said Chatley. "The policies and practices of the facility where a baby is born impact whether women choose to breastfeed and how successful they are. Receiving this designation tells new parents that the staff will provide the care needed to support and maintain successful feeding."

Birth facility policies and practices significantly impact whether women choose to breastfeed and how successful they are in reaching their infant feeding goals. While Missouri hospitals strive to achieve all 10 steps, research shows that adopting the first five steps will assist mothers in meeting their feeding goals while providing an effective path to an incremental adoption of all 10 steps.

The Missouri "Show-Me 5" hospital practices are:

  1. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth.
  2. Practice "rooming-in," allowing infants to stay in the same room as their mothers.
  3. Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  4. Do not give pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  5. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge.

​SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital – Jefferson City is the 9th hospital in the state to receive the designation.


About SSM Health
SSM Health ​is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the nation.

With care delivery sites in  Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, SSM includes 19 hospitals, more than 60 outpatient care sites, a pharmacy benefit company, an insurance company, two nursing homes, comprehensive home care and hospice services, a technology company, and an Accountable Care Organization. With more than 1,300 employed physicians and nearly 30,000 employees in four states, SSM is one of the largest employers in every community it serves. An early adopter of the electronic health record (EHR), SSM is a national leader for the depth of its EHR integration. The addition of Dean Health System in 2013 brings the number of physician visits across SSM Health Care to 4 million annually.

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