There are 10 steps required for a hospital to be considered Baby Friendly as outlined by UNICEF and The World Health Organization.

The 10 steps are as follows:

1 – Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2 – Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3 – Inform all pregnant women about 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 they are separated from their infants.
6 – Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
7 – Practice “rooming in”– allow 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 hospital or clinic.

To many, these steps might seem logical or even easy. Surprisingly hospitals find it so difficult to assist in successful breastfeeding for mothers and babies that there are only 105 Baby Friendly birth centers in the United States and only 5 in Oregon.

The 5 Baby Friendly hospitals in Oregon are:
Three Rivers Community Hospital in Grants Pass
Providence Medical Center in Medford
PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center in Springfield
Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas
and very recently joining the ranks of Baby Friendly Hospitals in Oregon is
Providence Medical Center in Newberg.

I recommend contacting your local hospital or birth center and asking them to become Baby Friendly to better support local moms and babies efforts to breastfeed successfully.

To find out more: The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

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