January 24, 2018

Cooley Dickinson Hospital Earns Baby-Friendly USA Designation

January 24, 2018

Certification emphasizes commitment to providing highest level of breastfeeding care to new mothers

Cooley Dickinson has been awarded the Baby-Friendly designation by Baby-Friendly USA, a certification Mother with nursing baby at breastfeeding support group, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust Street, Northampton, MA 01060.program for hospitals. Baby-Friendly USA is part of a global initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The award recognizes the implementation of the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” and the “International Code of Marketing Breast-milk Substitutes” at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, which are evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.

Cooley Dickinson is the second facility in western Massachusetts and the 12th in Massachusetts to receive the designation.

“I am extremely proud of the Childbirth Center staff,” said Margaret-Ann Azzaro, MSN, RN, director, Medical Surgical & Childbirth Services. “Earning Baby Friendly designation represents a commitment from the entire staff to integrate evidenced-based practices to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration. It is an exciting time!”

“This designation also recognizes teamwork and our compliance with the rigorous standards developed to improve health outcomes for the moms, babies and families in our community,” she added.

Annie Heath, certified nurse midwife and co-medical director of Cooley Dickinson Medical Group Women’s Health, said this designation is about “our unwavering commitment to high quality care for mothers and babies.”

Couple with newborn baby at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital Childbirth Center, 30 Locust Street, Northampton, MA 01060.What is Baby-Friendly?
Baby-Friendly is a designation that 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 award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

“As a pediatrician, I recognize and support exclusive breastfeeding, early skin to skin contact and the other Baby Friendly recommendations,” said Estevan Garcia, MD, Cooley Dickinson Health Care’s chief medical officer.  “The efforts by our labor and delivery leadership and staff to achieve the Baby-Friendly designation have made Cooley Dickinson the premier hospital in Western Massachusetts for expecting parents and families.”

Fostering Breastfeeding Success
As a Baby-Friendly designated hospital, Cooley Dickinson Hospital ensures that the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” guidelines are followed, which include developing a written policy, establishing a post-discharge support group, and limiting pacifier use.

Additionally, as outlined by the “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes,” the hospital requires parental education about potential hazards and costs associated with artificial milk while restricting sample distribution and product advertising, all aimed at increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates, as recommended by the WHO, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

If a woman chooses not to breastfeed, or cannot breastfeed due to medical contraindications, safe formula feeding techniques are taught while practicing skin-to-skin bonding and rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day – are still recommended.

Benefits of Breastfeeding
According to the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, 17.3% of Massachusetts births occur in Baby-Friendly facilities.

Studies have shown that breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from serious illnesses, such as asthma and respiratory and ear infections. Adults who were breastfed are less likely to develop risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure and obesity. Mothers/parents who breastfeed appear to have lower risk than mothers/parents who didn’t breastfeed of developing heart disease, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer, among other conditions, in later life.

About Baby-Friendly USA
There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 473 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States.  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 to Successful Breastfeeding” as demonstrated by quality processes.

The “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” are:
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in the 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 are separated from their infants.
6. Give 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 pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.




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