Yippee! Missouri has it's first Baby Friendly Hospital in Hannibal Missouri. This is a designation from the World Health Organization for hospitals that comply with the 10 objectives for becoming Baby Friendly (or breastfeeding supportive). (Find more info at http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org ) My breastfeeding advocate cronies and I will be traveling to Hannibal next Thursday for the festivities, and the satisfaction of knowing the a barrier has been broken. Since I worked labor and delivery at several local hospitals over the years, I know that our local facilities do a poor job of supporting lactation. I saw most of the things on this list often ignored and downright counteracted. It's exciting to know that there's a hospital somewhere in the state getting it right.
The Ten Steps To Successful BreastfeedingThe BFHI promotes, protects, and supports breastfeeding through The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for Hospitals, as outlined by UNICEF/WHO. The steps for the United States are:
1 - Maintain a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2 - Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3 - Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4 - Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
5 - Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
6 - Give infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
7 - Practice “rooming in”-- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
8 - Encourage unrestricted breastfeeding.
9 - Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
10 - Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic