Natividad’s April Ritchie, RNC, BSN, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services and Carole Swain, RN, IBCLC (left and right) pictured with Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA, 18th Surgeon General of the United States (center), at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s First Food Grantee and Partner Forum in Atlanta, February 2013.
SALINAS – CA - Baby-Friendly® USA, announces that Natividad Medical Center has received prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly® birth facility. Natividad Medical Center is the 58th hospital in California to receive this coveted award.
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.
“This important designation is indicative of our staff’s outstanding commitment to new mothers and their babies here at Natividad Medical Center,” said April Ritchie, Women's and Children's Services Director. “The combined expertise and dedication of our staff helps us put our smallest patients first.”
The “Baby-Friendly” award is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. Facilities must ultimately demonstrate that they have correctly integrated all of the “Ten Steps To Successful Breastfeeding” into their practice for healthy newborns.
“We are thrilled to have received this award from Baby-Friendly USA. It’s an incredibly valuable distinction,” said Carole Swain, Lactation Services Coordinator. “It boils down to public health—increasing the health of our women and our children as well as decreasing overall national healthcare dollars. But no matter how women choose to feed their babies, we give everyone 100 percent of our professional care.”
Natividad's lactation staff is available 6 days a week to provide inpatient services to new mothers. There are six Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants on staff. The outpatient lactation clinic supports all mothers in the community regardless of where the baby was born by providing 6 day a week appointments for mothers having questions or concerns in regards to breastfeeding. According to the information received at the California Breastfeeding Summit two weeks ago in Anaheim, the key word was support. Mothers may initiate breastfeeding in the hospital but if there is no family support or limited community resources, the mother may give up. "We are here to support and educate any mother needing breastfeeding assistance," said Carole Swain.
Breastfeeding is associated with a number of health benefits for both mom and baby. These include reduced rates of allergies and respiratory infections among infants as well as fewer cases of childhood diabetes and obesity. Long term health benefits among women include lower rates of cervical, breast and ovarian cancers, osteoporosis and postpartum depression.
According to the journal Pediatrics, increased Baby-Friendly hospital practices, particularly giving only breast milk in the hospital, might help more mothers achieve their exclusive breastfeeding intentions. Two-thirds of mothers who intend to exclusively breastfeed are not meeting their intended duration.
In addition to the prestigious honor of becoming the 58th Baby-Friendly Hospital in California, in 2011 Natividad Medical Center’s Foundation was awarded the first “First Food Initiative” grant in the state of California from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to improve breastfeeding rates among low income Latina mothers, to ensure most women delivering at NMC are exclusively breastfeeding at discharge to give every baby the best start in life. At NMC, the $48,500 grant funded the necessary staff training to help NMC achieve Baby Friendly designation.
And then in January 2013, Natividad Medical Foundation received one of only fifteen $25,500 grants from the California Department of Public Health’s California Obesity Prevention program to build capacity among safety net health providers to offer professional breastfeeding support and enhance community collaboration among agencies that provide breastfeeding services.
About Natividad Medical Center
Natividad Medical Center is a Monterey County owned and operated 172 bed acute care hospital providing health care services to the people of the county for more than 127 years. Natividad Medical Center offers inpatient, outpatient, emergency, diagnostic and specialty medical care. NMC provides more than 34,000 patient days each year and more than 47,000 emergency department visits per year. NMC is ranked #1 in newborn deliveries in Monterey County. Natividad is the only teaching hospital on the Central Coast, through its affiliation with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). With a medical staff of more than 228 physicians, Natividad’s mission is to continually improve the health status of the people of Monterey County through access to affordable, high-quality health care services. Natividad is based in Salinas, California. For more information, please call 831-755-4111 or visit www.natividad.com.
Background on Baby Friendly USA, Inc:
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.
There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 157 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 as demonstrated by quality processes.
Further information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative may be obtained by contacting Baby-Friendly USA, Inc, 449 Rte 6A PO Box 1015, East Sandwich, MA 02537. Phone: 508-888-8092. Fax: 508-484-1716. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/.