Mary Kay McLeod Experiences Firsthand the Benefits of Baby-Friendly Practices at NHRMC

After delivering her sons Drew and Garrett at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Mary Kay McLeod knew she would receive the same quality care when she was expecting Maggie in October. But this time she noticed some new practices in place – and she was impressed.

“When I had my first child in 2008, he was fed, then taken to bathe. When Maggie was born, the emphasis was on skin-to-skin contact right away. They placed her on my chest immediately after she was born and she began to breastfeed. There was constant contact and bonding from the time of her birth,” said McLeod. 

Mary Kay McLeod Patient Story

“And the whole experience was so serene and stress-free.”

The designation of NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital as a Baby-Friendly facility might have something to do with McLeod’s experience.

The hospital earned the Baby-Friendly designation for its focus on delivering optimal family-centered care and education on infant feeding and mother/baby bonding, one of only 203 facilities in the country to do so. As part of the designation process, NHRMC participated in the Best Fed Beginnings program, a nationwide initiative to help hospitals improve maternity care by providing mothers with information and skills to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely.

“The Baby-Friendly designation is a natural extension of our focus on the family and the patient experience,” said Barbara Buechler, Administrator of the NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital. “It demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement in providing family-centered care.”

McLeod agrees. “Our care team worked together cohesively. Everyone was on the same page. “I loved the way the support came directly to us in the room,” she said. “The whole staff really knew their stuff and I knew if I needed anything, they could deliver.”

“While NHRMC recognizes the many benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child, we support the family’s choice,” said Buechler. “The care we provide is exactly the same for moms who choose to formula feed. The birth of a new baby is a life-changing event, and we want to make sure every family’s experience is exactly what they want it to be.”

Now back to her active life raising two boys ages four and six plus five-week-old Maggie, McLeod says, “I had a great experience with everyone on the maternity care team. It was easy and natural and pleasant; everyone was on my side.”