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Baby-Friendly Hospital

St. Joseph Medical Center Receives Prestigious International Award

On November 1, 2017, Baby-Friendly USA, announced that St. Joseph Medical Center 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 (“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 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 468 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States, with St. Joseph Medical Center being the only hospital to receive this designation in Berks County. 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.

For a complete list of Baby-Friendly designated facilities, click here.

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 a half-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 (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

For questions regarding our Baby-Friendly designation, please email Cindy Griffis or call 610-378-2068.

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