LITCHFIELD, IL – Baby-Friendly USA, recently announced that HSHS St. Francis Hospital has received prestigious international recognition as a Designated Baby-Friendly birth facility.
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 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 prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.
Elisa Feldmann, RN, manager of the Family Maternity Center at HSHS St. Francis Hospital, said, “Being recognized as a Baby-Friendly hospital shows that our staff work diligently to provide breastfeeding education, support and techniques for success to our patients. We continue this education by offering ongoing breastfeeding classes and support group meetings. Our certified lactation consultant is available as well to provide additional support and education when requested. We are very pleased to be recognized for these efforts and to receive this award from Baby-Friendly USA.”
There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently, there are 576 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.