Baby Friendly Hospital Designation
In 2018, North Valley Hospital was designated as a Baby Friendly Hospital, which is a high level designation overseen by Baby Friendly USA.
Baby Friendly began in 1991 when the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program to encourage the broad-scale implementation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
Baby Friendly designation involves a hospital-wide focus on keeping babies and families together and reducing stress during the birth experience. North Valley Hospital has always supported programs such as rooming in, when newborns stay in-room with their parents; breastfeeding first, to encourage all women who are able to breastfeed if possible; and skin-to-skin contact, allowing mothers to hold their newborn babies immediately after birth.
In addition, The Birth Center educates patients about the benefits of breastfeeding and family togetherness during the prenatal and postnatal periods. The objective of Baby Friendly is to provide education so that parents can make informed choices about their feeding choices and hospital stay.
Supporting Baby Friendly designation at the hospital and clinic levels provides the best possible care to families, infants, and new mothers.
10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
North Valley Hospital offers assistance and support for breastfeeding mothers by:
- Having a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Training all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Informing all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
- Showing mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
- Giving infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- Practice rooming in - allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encouraging breastfeeding on demand.
- Giving no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
- Fostering the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.