St. Luke's Celebrates Receiving Prestigious International Award
St. Luke’s held a special ceremony Wednesday celebrating its designation as a Baby-Friendly birth facility, a prestigious international award.
Baby-Friendly USA 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 like St. Luke’s that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.
“We’ve been working towards earning this important designation for more than four years. Making it happen was really a team effort,” Lori Swanson, St. Luke’s Maternal Child Health Nurse Manager said. “It’s very important to us that all moms know we do everything we can to support them when they come to St. Luke’s Birthing Center to have their babies.”
There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 454 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 can be found by visiting www.babyfriendlyusa.org.