Mission Hospital has been redesignated as a Baby-Friendly birth facility. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) 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, started by the World Health Organization (WHO), recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.
“We are excited that Mission Hospital has once again earned this designation,” said Kellet Letson, MD, Vice President and Chief of Mission Women’s Health. “The training and commitment of our staff to achieve this designation assures that the mothers and newborns in our care are afforded the highest quality care in our region, helping them, be well, get well and stay well.”
Mission Hospital was the first hospital in North Carolina to receive the Baby-Friendly designation. That was in 2010, and the designation lasted five years. The Baby-Friendly redesignation was given after a rigorous survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes. Currently there are 305 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States.
The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all healthcare staff.
- Train all healthcare staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
- Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
- Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
- Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.
To learn more about the maternity and breastfeeding services offered at Mission Hospital, please visit www.mission-health.org