HealthEast has achieved Baby-Friendly designation at our hospitals that offer maternity care – St. John’s Hospital and Woodwinds Health Campus.
This distinguished honor from the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) calls out HealthEast’s commitment to excellence and best practice in the care of mothers and babies.
“I came to HealthEast because they offered a 'Baby-Friendly' birthing plan. That was important to me.”
~ HealthEast patient
What does it mean to be Baby-Friendly?
- Mother and baby skin-to-skin contact right after birth, promoting bonding and health benefits for babies and moms.
- Patient-centered breastfeeding support and education along with dignity and respect for all feeding options.
- Rooming-in - where babies stay in mom’s hospital room to learn about feeding cues and the sights and smells of mom.
Key to receiving this recognition is the fulfillment of Baby-Friendly’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These steps were developed by a team of global experts and consist of evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.
The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care 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.
At HealthEast, our doctors, certified nurse-midwives and nurses have the knowledge and skill to gently see you through the birth of your baby. Throughout your maternity stay, we will give you the reassurance and support you need. We know that different things are meaningful to different women and everyone has different expectations for their birth experience, so we offer personalized care that respects your wants, needs and cultural traditions.