Healthy babies mean a healthier community

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cheryl Kilbourne

Ask any expectant mom whether she wants a boy or a girl, and she’ll likely reply that she just wants a healthy baby. Fully developed heart, functioning brain, healthy lungs, 10 toes, 10 fingers.

Fortunately, in our society and our community, private and public resources are available to help parents reach that goal. Physicians, midwives, hospitals, clinics and community health educators, as well as organizations such as the March of Dimes, all have a role, whether it’s caring for and educating moms-to-be, teaching hands-on baby care or raising awareness of the importance of maternal and prenatal care.

Georgetown Memorial Hospital and Waccamaw Community Hospital are proud to participate in many initiatives and organizations that help get babies off to a healthy start.

This weekend, members of our Georgetown Hospital System family will take part in the March of Dimes March to Help Babies. The event, which will be held Saturday, April 12, happens at East Bay Park. Registration is at 9 a.m., and the 3.5-mile walk gets under way at 10 a.m.

We’d love to see you there. I can think of few more powerful reasons for our community to join together than that of supporting healthy babies and families. If you’d like more information on the March to Help Babies, please visit www.marchofdimes.com/southcarolina/events/10230_3135363137 or call 843.488.8463.

At Georgetown Hospital System, we are privileged to welcome hundreds of babies into the world each year. From pre-pregnancy planning to labor and delivery, our hospitals are a trusted childbirth partner. We help moms-to-be choose expert local physicians to provide prenatal care. And our childbirth education classes prepare expectant parents physically, mentally and emotionally for the joys and challenges of having a baby.

Both Georgetown Memorial and Waccamaw Community also offer Level II nurseries, which means we provide high-quality care for babies born at 32 weeks gestation or greater.

I’m proud to say both our hospitals have earned the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation, a global recognition sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Baby-Friendly is based on the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and recognizes birth facilities that provide mothers the information and skills needed to breastfeed their babies.

We are honored to be two of only four hospitals in the Palmetto State to be recognized for following this standard or care.

At Waccamaw Community, we have also been recognized with the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for our women and children’s program. The certification recognizes our facility as a national leader in best practices for maternal and infant care.

All of these recognitions are proof positive of our commitment to our ultimate goal – healthy moms and babies. Every week, we have the opportunity and great privilege to welcome new life into the world. We are truly honored to be part of such a sacred event for families across the region.

Cheryl Kilbourne, MSN, RN, is director of women and children’s services at Waccamaw Community Hospital.

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