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Feather River Hospital Receives Baby Friendly Certification

Awards & Recognition

Paradise, Calif. – Feather River Hospital has recently been named a Baby Friendly Certified Hospital after a three year journey. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Certification requires hospitals to implement the most current, evidence-based policies and education to support breastfeeding as outlined by the guidelines as outlined by UNICEF/WHO. It is a global program to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and is sponsored by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Feather River invited two assessors from ‘Baby Friendly’ to perform an on-site assessment for certification on February 24 and 25. During that visit, interviews were conducted with our Senior Administrative team, OB physicians and midwives, OB nursing staff, and patients. The team also observed our patient care practices related to birth and infant feeding practices. After compiling their data we were notified of receiving a passing score on all 10 Steps. Feather River Hospital is the first hospital in Adventist Health to achieve this prestigious certification!

‘Baby Friendly’ provides assistance to hospitals for giving mothers all the necessary information and skills needed to: initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies through at least the first year of life, feed formula safely, provides special recognition to hospitals that are Baby Friendly.

Baby Friendly helps in:

• Maintaining the highest standards for breastfeeding outcomes is important in staying competitive with other local hospitals.

• Quality Improvement: this requires on-going data collection and quality improvement. It also helps with cost containment: increased breastfeeding rates have a proven impact on decreasing health care costs.

• Public Relations/Marketing: families who feel adequately supported during the vulnerable postpartum days can speak powerfully of a birth facility.

• Prestige: The receipt of this international award in patient care is a prestigious achievement which merits celebrating

• Exclusive breastfeeding is now a Core Measure for The Joint Commission. Becoming “Baby Friendly Certified” will help equip our hospital with the skills necessary to meet this Core Measure.

Here are the 10 Baby Friendly Steps:

  1. 1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. 2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. 3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. 4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. 5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. 6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. 7. Practice rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. 8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. 9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. 10.Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center