Duncan Regional Hospital Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation
Duncan Regional Hospital (DRH) is proud to announce that it has achieved the highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.
This distinguished honor demonstrates that DRH is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.
The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities worldwide. For example, the Surgeon General’s 2011 “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding” stated, “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”
DRH joins a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide, 592 of which are in the United States. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.
“This designation is the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination across our organization, all with a goal of helping families get off to a good start,” said Kristen Webb, RN, MSN, Vice President, and Chief Nursing Officer. “DRH is committed to ensuring that mothers delivering in our facility have the support they need to meet their goals in feeding their baby whether they choose to breastfeed or not.”
This facility upholds the World Health Organization/UNICEF
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, published in a joint statement entitled,
Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:
- 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.
The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding form the basis of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a worldwide breastfeeding quality improvement project created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers also uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes by offering parents support, education, and educational materials that promote the use of human milk rather than other infant food or drinks, and by refusing to accept or distribute free or subsidized supplies of breast milk supplies, nipples, and other feeding devices.