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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 1:51 pm | Partly Cloudy 64º

 
 
 
Your Health

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Bears Baby-Friendly Label

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital has received the international recognition as a Designated Baby-Friendly hospital by Baby-Friendly USA Inc., the authority for implementing the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

Sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program that 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, the international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

Achievement of the Baby-Friendly designation is not an easy task, as there are only 509 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the U.S.

The U.S. Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria are based on the Global Criteria for the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and adapted for the U.S. Initiative.

Baby-Friendly criteria are challenging, as they are designed to set the standards for the best possible breastfeeding support for mother and infant in the maternity setting.

“A tremendous amount of team work has gone into achieving the Baby-Friendly designation,” said Herb Geary, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at Cottage Health.

“I want to acknowledge Cottage staff in the Birth Center, Mother Infant Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, including lactation nurses and clinical nurse midwives, and also obstetricians, pediatricians and other physicians who worked together to achieve this designation,' Geary said.

"It’s an important affirmation of our practices and commitment to provide the highest level of care to mothers and babies and their families,” he said.
 
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital was the birthplace of 2,217 babies in 2017.

— Maria Zate for Cottage Health.

 

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