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Baby-Friendly Hospital

Mercy General Hospital is proud to be recognized as a Baby-Friendly Hospital.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that 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 that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

Ten Steps To Successful Breastfeeding

To qualify as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, we follow a set of ten steps to ensure that all mothers receive excellent breastfeeding services, education, and support from well-trained staff:

  1. Our breastfeeding policy is made known to our staff.
  2. Our staff has the skills and resources necessary to carry out this policy.
  3. Our patients are taught the benefits of breastfeeding as well as how to breastfeed in our prenatal clinic, during their hospital stay, in our postpartum clinic and in support groups.
  4. We help mother and baby breastfeed within the first hour after birth.
  5. We show mother how to maintain lactation when away from her baby.
  6. Breastfeeding babies are not given formula or water unless medically indicated.
  7. Mother and baby stay together in the same room; skin-to-skin bonding is encouraged throughout the hospital stay.
  8. We teach mother how to recognize baby hunger cues. Breastfeeding is important for physical contact and nourishment.
  9. Breastfeeding babies are not given pacifiers or bottles.
  10. Ongoing breastfeeding services are available at our support group the 2nd Friday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (916) 733-6897.