St. David's HealthCare September 20, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas—St. David’s South Austin Medical Center recently earned the Texas Ten Step Program facility re-designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Texas Ten Step Program encourages breastfeeding as the preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants. St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is one of a growing number of Texas birth facilities that are supporting new mothers and their decision to breastfeed.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO)/UNICEF’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the program aims to assist birth facilities’ support of breastfeeding mothers before, during and after delivery; encourages them to identify breastfeeding resources for the mother after she is discharged; and assists facilities in improving on national performance measures, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Breastfeeding Report Card. The goal of the Texas Ten Step Program is to increase breastfeeding initiation rates to 82 percent.

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

“We are continuously taking steps toward improving the health of newborns and infants,” Todd Steward, chief executive officer of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, said. “We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts to promote breastfeeding among new mothers.”

All of St. David’s HealthCare’s acute care hospitals currently hold this designation.

For more information on the Texas Ten Step Program visit

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2014. St. David's South Austin Medical Center is an acute care facility with 316 beds, offering a range of complex specialties and sub-specialties, including a nationally accredited oncology program with the area’s only adult bone marrow transplant program; a trauma program that includes all of the capabilities and programmatic elements of a Level II trauma center to treat the most severely injured and critical patients; a comprehensive cardiac program; full-service maternity and newborn care with Level I and II nurseries; and two full-service emergency centers in the communities of Bee Cave and Bastrop.