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The Catalyst

MUSC coaches other hospitals to become baby friendly

By Helen Adams
Public Relations

Nurse Molly Gros talks to patient Catherine MacKelcan about ways to breast-feed her twins, Walker, left and Mary Bryan. photo by Sarah Pack, Public Relations

In the first hours after a woman gives birth, she decides whether to breast–feed. It can be hard at first, and without a lot of encouragement, some mothers give up and turn to formula.

Next week, MUSC will host an event designed to encourage hospitals around the state to become “baby–friendly.” The designation, awarded by Baby-Friendly USA, means a hospital is committed to getting mothers to breast–feed. It’s a global initiative of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

MUSC’s Baby-Friendly Showcase will take place Wednesday, Nov. 19 in the Storm Eye Institute Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Representatives of several hospitals have registered to attend.

Experts say breast-feeding gives babies the optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies. It also reduces their risk and their mother’s risk of developing certain illnesses.

MUSC is one of only seven Baby–Friendly Hospitals in the state. It was part of the Best Fed Beginnings initiative, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality. MUSC received expert coaching to become baby friendly. It is now helping other hospitals work to achieve the same accreditation.

For more information about the MUSC Baby-Friendly Showcase, call 792-9591.

10 Steps a hospital needed to Achieve Baby–Friendly status

1. Have a written breast–feeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breast–feeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breast–feeding within one hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breast–feed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
7. Practice rooming in — allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
8. Encourage breast–feeding on demand.
9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breast-feeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breast–feeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

December 11, 2014



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