Through its Noreen Stonor Drexel Birthing Center, Newport Hospital has again earned the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The designation recognizes the commitment and dedication the hospital and staff embrace for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
“Earning this re-designation was truly a team effort and is something all of us in the birthing center are committed to each and every day,” said Debra Venancio, RN, manager of maternal and child health at Newport Hospital. “Being recognized as Baby-Friendly means our moms and their families know that we maintain an environment that promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding.”
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, which was launched in 1991, is a global program of the WHO and UNICEF. The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.
Newport Hospital first earned Baby-Friendly designation in 2003 and at the time was one of only 40 U.S. hospitals to have achieved it. Today, there are 172 hospitals that have been honored as Baby-Friendly.
To meet the requirements of the designation, Newport Hospital had to successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which include:
- 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 – allows 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.
Newport Hospital also was required to implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. This means the hospital offers educational materials that promote human milk rather than other infant food or drinks. The hospital also does not accept or distribute free or subsidized supplies of breast milk substitutes or other feeding devices.
Through the birth center, Newport Hospital offers a breastfeeding class, as well as a breastfeeding support group. The hospital also has four International Board Certified Lactation Consultants on staff.
For more information about The Noreen Stonor Drexel Birthing Center at Newport Hospital, as well as classes and support groups, call 401-845-1110 or visit www.newporthospital.org/birthing-center.