Baby-Friendly Facility

Adventist Health Hanford Birth Center is Baby-Friendly

While we have always been “baby friendly,” Adventist Health Hanford’s Birth Center also has received the prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation by Baby-Friendly USA.

Through the collaboration of our providers, nurses and entire healthcare team, we are now recognized as a facility that offers mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the early 1990s in an effort to increase breastfeeding rates and, in turn, reduce childhood illness and death. BFHI includes practices proven to promote, protect and support breastfeeding.

To achieve and maintain the award, a hospital must complete the following 10 Steps:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy routinely communicated to all healthcare staff
  2. Train all healthcare staff in skills necessary to implement this policy
  3. Inform all pregnant women of 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 separated from their infants
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated
  7. Practice "rooming in"— allowing 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 medical center or clinic

Breastfeeding health benefits for infants include protection from diarrhea, respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, diabetes, leukemia and childhood obesity, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Mothers also benefit with decreased postpartum bleeding, earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight and decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

Designation is for a period of five years.