WakeMed pursuing baby-friendly hospital designation
This Mother's Day, WakeMed Health & Hospitals Women's Pavilion & Birthplaces - Raleigh and Cary are taking major steps to become a baby-friendly hospital as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). WakeMed is the first hospital in the region to pursue this designation, and conform to the standards outlined in the Ten Steps to Breastfeeding.
One of the first steps in the journey to encourage breastfeeding is to discontinue the distribution of the formula samples and diaper bags provided for free by the formula companies. While WakeMed will provide formula to infants for feeding when it is requested by the parent or guardian, the hospital no longer will distribute formula samples. WakeMed also no longer will have pacifiers available on demand in the Women's Pavilion & Birthplace. These changes will go in to effect May 8.
By reviewing where the hospital stands and adopting these 10 steps, WakeMed is confirming its belief that breast milk is the best form of nutrition for infants. Currently, the Women's Pavilion & Birthplace - Cary has a 98 percent breastfeeding rate, and the Women's Pavilion & Birthplace - Raleigh has a 72 percent breastfeeding rate, both of which are well above the national average. With the 10-step process, the hospital can continue to improve these rates and give mothers the support and confidence they need to commit to breastfeeding.
"The staffs at both WakeMed Raleigh Campus and Cary Hospital are working closely with the lactation consultants so they can offer new mothers the information and support they need. Our hope is that mothers leave WakeMed with the confidence and knowledge they need to continue breastfeeding their babies," says Elizabeth Rice, director of the Women's Pavilion & Birthplace. "Of course, we will continue to provide support and education equally to those who chose to bottle feed their newborns."
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
1. Have 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 should be separated from their infants.
6. Give newborn 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 artificial teats or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breast-feeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
For more information, visit http://babyfriendlyusa.org/ or www.wakemed.org.