Athens, OH,
08
September
2017
|
02:00 PM
Europe/Amsterdam

O'Bleness Earns International Recognition for Support of Breastfeeding

OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital announced today that it has received prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently, there are 445 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

Achieving this designation was a milestone that took a four year multidisciplinary effort across the hospital, involving physicians, nurses and breastfeeding specialists.

“The journey to becoming a Baby-Friendly designated hospital has been extremely rewarding,” said Mark Seckinger, president of OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital. “Everyone involved in the process worked tirelessly to make this happen.”

Mothers who give birth at Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing centers are more likely to initiate exclusive breastfeeding and more likely to sustain breastfeeding at six months and one year of age.

“The OhioHealth O'Bleness Birth Center is proud of our commitment to promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding,” said Michele Biddlestone, BS, IBCLC, RLC, lactation consultant at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital. “The Baby-Friendly designation shows our commitment to delivering patient-centered care, improving health outcomes for mothers and babies and achieving Healthy People 2020 goals for breastfeeding.”

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

To obtain and maintain the designation, a hospital must adhere to the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, developed by a team of global experts and consisting of evidence-based practices shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.

1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all healthcare staff.

2. Train all healthcare 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 breast milk, unless medically indicated.

7. Practice "rooming in"-- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.

8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.

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.

About Baby-Friendly USA

Further information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative may be obtained by contacting:

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc

125 Wolf Road, Suite 402

Albany, NY 12205

Phone: 518-621-7982 Fax: 518-621-7983

Email info@babyfriendlyusa.org. Web: www.babyfriendlyusa.org.

Press Contact: Charmaine Tompkins (518) 621-7982

About OhioHealth

OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 11 years in a row, 2007-2017.

Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 29,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 11 hospitals, 200+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.

OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital and OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.