Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO –  One of the most important steps on the top 10 Texas Step program in breastfeeding as the preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants is the bonding that takes place between a mother and her infant child during the first few weeks of life stated Dr. Srikanth Podaralla. 

At San Angelo Community Medical Center press conference held last week during the noon hour, Dr. Podaralla was asked how proud was he for SACMC to have finally received this designation from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission

“We are very proud to receive this designation as we have been practicing these steps for a long time," Dr. Podaralla said.

Podaralla, also praised one staff member, Evelyn Ashley, RN, lactation consultant, RN, SACMC, who was instrumental in this endeavor. One other team member involved in this process was Brandie Beall, RN, NICU/nursery coordinator.

The Texas 10 Steps are as follows:

1. Breastfeeding Policy – Learn how hospitals are expanding the care of birth mothers in ways they “weren’t able to do before.”

2. Staff Training – It takes a village. Learn how hospitals are making it easy to assure all staff have the skills required to support breastfeeding.

3. Inform parents on benefits of breastfeeding – When is the best time to talk to patients about breastfeeding?

4. Skin-to-Skin – The simple act of Lactation.

5. Lactation Support – “8 or more in 24” – Learn about the guide to protecting mom’s milk supply, even away from her baby.

6. Give babies breastmilk – “A lot of people say breast is best, but breast is normal.” 

7. Rooming In – allows mothers and infants to remain together, 24 hours a day.

8. Feeding on Cue – healthcare providers should teach mom to “watch the baby, not the clock” when it’s time to eat.

9. No Artificial Nipples – give no artificial or pacifiers to breastfeeding babies.

10. Support & Resources – Hospitals and community partners are part of the solution to “change the culture . . .”   


Texas Ten Step facilities are asked to address 85 percent of the Ten Steps, be designated as a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite, evaluate their breastfeeding policies, maternity care practices and educate all healthcare staff routinely with evidence-based courses.

 “We have worked very hard to earn the Texas Ten Step Program designation,” said Debbie Hancock, Chief Nursing Officer at SACMC. “And we are proud to join the other select Texas hospitals in promoting breastfeeding to our new mothers.”

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