Providence Saint Joseph Receives Baby-Friendly Designation from the World Health Organization & UNICEF

July 28, 2015

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center has been designated as a Baby-Friendly hospital by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., for its efforts to encourage breast-feeding. Baby-Friendly USA is part of a global program launched in 1991 by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

Currently, just 274 hospitals and birth centers nationwide have completed the rigorous on-site survey required in order to receive this honor.

“We are incredibly proud of our designation as a Baby-Friendly facility and grateful to everyone who has worked so diligently to guide us through this intensive three-year initiative,” said Betsy Hart, chief nursing officer at Providence Saint Joseph. “Baby-Friendly Hospitals provide the gold standard of maternity care to their patients. This accomplishment demonstrates our ability to offer mothers the information, skills and support needed to successfully initiate bonding and breast-feeding.”

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding based on the fact that human milk fed through the mother’s own breast is the normal way for human infants to be nourished. There is an abundance of scientific evidence that points to lower risks for certain diseases and improved health outcomes for both mothers and babies who breast-feed.

“Providence Saint Joseph is committed to the long-term well-being of its littlest and most vulnerable patients,” said Robert Gall, M.D., the hospital’s medical director of maternal and child health. “Mothers-to-be who come to our hospital can be assured they are receiving the education and support they need to give their babies the very best start in life.”

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the accrediting body and the national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States. 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 Breast-feeding, this international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breast-feeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breast-feeding their babies. For more information, please visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org.