Proud to be Baby-Friendly
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. has declared that HCMC has been designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is part of a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). In order to become Baby-Friendly, a hospital must implement the "Ten Steps" and follow the "WHO code". Baby-Friendly USA is the accrediting organization and HCMC underwent a 2 day site visit to confirm that the required practice changes are now standard of care for the Birth Center.
The US Surgeon General and the Minnesota Commissioner of Health issued a call to action encourage hospitals to implement the evidence-based family-centered care and become Baby-Friendly. Being Baby-Friendly means that HCMC has been recognized as a center of excellence in maternity care practices and infant feeding.
HCMC is one of seven hospitals in Minnesota to have earned a Baby-Friendly Hospital designation.
Baby-Friendly care means:
- We put family-centered care into practice by respecting every family’s choices about their upcoming birth experience. We provide consistent and accurate information so that mother’s can make informed choices.
- We individually educate each expectant mother about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to recognize infant feeding cues and soothe their babies.
- We make sure that mother and baby have skin-to-skin contact immediately after both vaginal and cesarean deliveries to promote the bonding and health benefits for moms and babies.
- We room mothers and babies together throughout their hospital stay.
- All families are taught how to safely feed their babies.
Baby-Friendly Hospitals have demonstrated these Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
- 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.
One of the most impressive results of the implementation of the Baby-Friendly practices is that the number of moms exclusively breastfeeding during their HCMC hospital stay has nearly quadrupled. However, Baby-Friendly is not just about breastfeeding – all families benefit from changes that have been made.