Critical role of hospitals in breastfeeding

October 15, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a “Vital Signs” report last week on how hospitals can help encourage and support new mothers in breastfeeding their newborns. Hospital practices in the first hours and days after birth make the difference in whether and how long babies are breastfed.

The WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is the global standard for hospital care to support breastfeeding, but becoming an official “Baby-Friendly USA Hospital” may be challenging administratively and financially, especially for smaller hospitals.

However, all hospitals can support new mothers and babies. The Washington State Department of Health designed Breastfeeding Friendly Washington to recognize hospitals that are successful in promoting and supporting breastfeeding in our state. Those hospitals are:

  • University of Washington Medical Center
  • Jefferson Healthcare
  • Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center
  • Three Rivers Hospital
  • Evergreen Health

See our joint press release here, or visit the DOH webpage here. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross)


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