Erlanger East Hospital has received international recognition as a Designated Baby-Friendly birth facility from Baby-Friendly USA.
Erlanger Health System annually delivers more than 70 percent of the region’s babies between the labor and delivery services offered at Erlanger East and Baroness Hospitals. The hospital demonstrated that the policies and care practices meet the gold standard for mother/baby care practices related to breastfeeding. Staff is trained regarding care of breastfeeding mothers and babies. Babies stay close to their mothers right after birth so that they can feed as soon as they are ready, and health babies stay in the room with their mothers, day and night. The hospital also offers breastfeeding support after discharge.
“Erlanger demonstrates its determination to provide the highest quality maternity care by achieving Baby Friendly status at both campuses,” said Dr. James Bolton, an OB/GYN physician at Erlanger Women’s Institute for Specialized Health. “Baby friendly promotes maternal and newborn health, as well as improved bonding by promoting immediate skin to skin contact and early breast feeding. The training involves all levels of hospital personnel and even extends into the Erlanger OB/GYN practices.”
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. 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 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 498 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” re-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.
Erlanger Baroness Hospital received the Baby-Friendly designation in November 2014. For more information about women’s services at Erlanger visit www.erlanger.org/womensservices.
Photo Caption: A mother and newborn enjoy skin-to-skin bonding time at Erlanger East Hospital.