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Mon Health Medical Center Earns Baby-Friendly Designation

Posted Date: 5/24/2017

Baby-Friendly USA, a World Health Organization sponsored program, approved Mon Health Medical Center as West Virginia’s first Baby-Friendly designated birth facility.

Mon Health Family Birth Center received the designation May 8 after a 19-month process that included a hospital inspection.

The prestigious, world-wide initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birth centers that offer the best care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Supporting and encouraging breastfeeding is one of the best ways Mon Health can enhance the health of the communities it serves,” said Mon Health President and CEO Darryl Duncan. “We are proud of the extraordinary team that earned this designation.”

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. There are currently 429 in the United States. With the addition of Mon Health Medical Center, there is now a Baby-Friendly hospital or birth center in all 50 states.

Studies show breastfed babies are less likely to have ear infections or develop chronic health problems such as asthma, obesity and diabetes. For mothers, breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Based on the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” the Baby-Friendly Initiative recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

The “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”

1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
7. Practice rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
10.Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

For more information about the Baby-Friendly Initiative, please visit babyfriendlyusa.org.

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