Baby-Friendly Hospital

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hospitals have a responsibility to help new babies get off to the best start possible. Thats the logic behind the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

In 1991, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund started the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

To earn Baby-Friendly designation, the hospital must follow the Ten Steps of Successful Breastfeeding, which were developed by a team of global experts. Research shows that mothers who give birth at Baby-Friendly hospitals are more likely to initiate exclusive breastfeeding and more likely to sustain breastfeeding at six months.

These 10 steps include informing all pregnant women about the benefits of breastfeeding and helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

Baby-Friendly Hospitals practice rooming in, where mothers and infants share the same room 24 hours a day. Infants are given no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless its medically indicated, and they arent given pacifiers or artificial nipples.

Pediatricians recommend that babies should breast-feed for at least 12 months or longer. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is one way hospitals are making sure newborn babies get off to a great start.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.