St. Anthony Hospital was recently recognized with the prestigious international recognition as a designated Baby-Friendly Hospital, from Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, 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.
“We want to be recognized as a facility that assists women in achieving their infant feeding goals, and recognizes their right to breastfeed if they choose. We are proud to support the efforts of the World Health Organization by achieving the Baby Friendly Designation and joining other birthing facilities around the world,” said Deborah McGowen, RN, Director of Joyful Beginnings at St. Anthony Hospital.
To be recognized as a designated Baby-Friendly Hospital, the facility must undergo a rigorous on-site survey. The results are then reviewed at UNICEF Headquarters to determine if the facility meets the global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative standards. Currently there are only 391 active Baby-Friendly Hospitals and birth centers in the United States.
“Our patients will have St. Anthony for support and as a resource, as they integrate their choice of infant feeding into their daily lives and workplace. In delivering this patient centered care, health outcomes for moms and babies will improve,” said McGowen.