Friday, August 16, 2013
Roper St. Francis (RSF) is pleased to announce that RSF Mount Pleasant Hospital is the first healthcare facility in Charleston to be named a Baby-Friendly Facility.
Baby-Friendly USA is the accrediting body for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, an international designation bestowed on healthcare facilities that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is based on scientific evidence that breastfeeding is the normal and healthiest way to feed a child.
“Being a Baby Friendly hospital is important to our patients because it shows our dedication to not only their health before, during, and after delivery, but also their infant’s long-term growth and development,” said Dr. Meghan Lynch of Mount Pleasant OB/GYN. “With our hands-on approach to educating and supporting new moms and babies, patients can trust that this is the place to go when you’re expecting.”
Evidence has shown that breastfeeding offers an unmatched nutritional beginning. Breastfed children experience far fewer and less serious illnesses than those who never receive breast milk including a reduced risk of SIDS, childhood cancers and diabetes. Women who breastfeed also experience healthy benefits with less risk of ovarian and breast cancers, anemia and osteoporosis later in life. It is also financially responsible as the practice helps families save money on formula.
“Out of more than 3,200 hospitals who have maternity services in the U.S., only 166 are currently accredited as Baby Friendly. This is an extremely important designation and reinforces our commitment to new moms and the development of their children,” said Happy Everett, Clinical Manager Women’s, Infant’s and Children’s Services, RSF Mount Pleasant Hospital. “Breastfeeding encourages healthy child development and is also beneficial to the new mom.”
The journey to Baby Friendly designation is rigorous and involves an on-site survey. The distinction is maintained by following the Ten Steps requirements outlined by the quality team at Baby-Friendly USA.
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 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 should be separated from their infants.
• Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
• Practice rooming which allows mothers and infants to remain together-24 hours a day.
• Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
• Give no artificial teats (also called bottle nipples) or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
• Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
For more information on the Baby Friendly Initiative visit http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/.