“We are very excited about this prestigious award,” said Anna Mueller, Nurse Manager for Breastfeeding Services. “Making sure moms and babies get off to a great start is one of our priorities at The Birth Center, and being recognized as a Baby-Friendly hospital confirms our commitment to providing excellent Family-Centered care.”
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the national authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) 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 international award recognizes birth facilities offering breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.
One of the most impressive results of the implementation of the BFHI at HCMC is that the number of moms exclusively breastfeeding during the postpartum hospital stay has nearly quadrupled. However, Baby-Friendly is not just about breastfeeding — all families benefit from many of the changes.
Offering skin-to-skin contact immediately after both vaginal and cesarean deliveries, keeping mom and baby together throughout the hospital stay as well as education about infant feeding cues and soothing the baby are also included in the BFHI. During the designation process, patient education for expectant moms was redesigned and now includes individualized education for every HCMC prenatal patient.
“We are very intentional about our family-centered care,” explains Mueller, “from offering evidence-based practices to respecting every mom’s choice for how she envisions her birth experience. It’s not complicated – and it’s the right thing to do!”
There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 238 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes. HCMC is the 7th Minnesota hospital to become Baby Friendly.
Delivering more than 2,200 babies each year, The Birth Center at Hennepin County Medical Center is expertly equipped to meet all of the patients’ needs before, during and after the arrival of their child. Hennepin County Medical Center recognizes that the birth of a child will be one of the most exciting times in a patient’s life and provides a full spectrum of care which can be customized to meet patient needs and desires. From an advanced neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to a nurse-midwife unit, a full spectrum of options is available for families. Call 612-873-BABY (2229) for more information.