SwedishAmerican Earns Prestigious Baby-Friendly Hospital Designation

SwedishAmerican is pleased to announce it has earned the prestigious Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) designation. BFHI is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals that provide an optimal level of care for breastfeeding and mother/baby bonding. The designation showcases that SwedishAmerican is a premier birthing center that provides information, confidence and skills to new moms on how to successfully initiate and breastfeed their babies.

Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough three-year journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based, maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal breastfeeding outcomes for mother and baby. Additionally, the designation requires training and skill building among all levels of staff from labor and delivery nurses to mother/baby nurses to lactation consultants. The Baby-Friendly designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed and the award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as demonstrated by quality processes.

“SwedishAmerican is beyond thrilled to be named a Baby-Friendly Hospital,” says SwedishAmerican Mother Baby Manager Jan Southard. “The journey to this designation helped our staff build leadership and teamwork skills but most importantly it will enhance patient satisfaction and improve health outcomes for both mom and baby.”

SwedishAmerican began its journey to become a Baby-Friendly Hospital in August of 2013. The hospital formed a task force team comprised of physicians, nurses and lactation consultants. Over the course of three years, the group worked to revise hospital policies, build community relationships, provide training for hospital staff and change existing practices to ensure that it would qualify as a Baby-Friendly hospital.

Additionally, SwedishAmerican opened a new Mother/Baby unit on the 8th floor of the hospital in December of 2014. The 3,000-square-foot unit provides private rooms for all new moms, allowing mom and baby to room together which allows for more mother/baby bonding time and skin-to-skin contact whenever possible.

“This designation shows our patients that we are a center of excellence when it comes to helping them achieve their goals of breastfeeding and more,” says SwedishAmerican Women, Children and Clinical Services Director Fiona Springman. “Studies have shown that breastfeeding lowers risks for certain diseases and improves health for both mom and baby. This designation is one more way SwedishAmerican is helping to improve the health and wellness of even our littlest patients.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately four million babies are born each year in the US, and only 14 percent of these babies are born in Baby-Friendly Hospitals. Of the approximately 3,300 maternity hospitals in the US, approximately only 377 are Baby-Friendly designated. To learn more about SwedishAmerican’s BFHI, visit www.swedishamerican.org.

For further information, contact:

Katryna Kirby