University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital has become the fourth hospital in Missouri to earn the Baby-Friendly® designation from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital has been working toward this designation for more than two years, reviewing and revitalizing the care given to new mothers and their babies, making changes to ensure both mothers and babies are off to the best start.
In order to receive the Baby-Friendly® designation, the medical team at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital completed and must continue to follow 10 steps outlined by the WHO. These steps include:
- Having a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff
- Training all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy
- Informing all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding
- Helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth
- Showing mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants
- Giving infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated
- Practicing “rooming in” — allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day
- Encouraging breastfeeding on demand
- Giving no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants
- Fostering the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and referring mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center
Learn more about Women's and Children's Hospital earning global Baby-Friendly® desgination.