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Hospitals with the Baby-Friendly designation have a demonstrably higher level of expertise in support and education of mothers interested in breastfeeding their newborns.
The designation is conferred by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and implemented in the United States by Baby-Friendly USA. This initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers which offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities which offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:
Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based maternity care, with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding outcomes and mother/baby bonding. It compels facilities to examine, challenge and modify longstanding policies and procedures. It requires training and skill building among all levels of staff. It entails implementing audit processes to assure quality in all aspects of maternity care operations, enhances patient satisfaction and improves health outcomes.
“We are extremely proud of being named the first Baby-Friendly hospital in southern Nevada,” said Vicky VanMeetren, president and CEO of the Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican, San Martín Campus. “The practice of breastfeeding has always been an important part of what we do here at San Martín and this designation is significant to the community.”