Written by Wendy Wright, MBA, IBCLC
The emphasis on becoming Baby Friendly in the United States is growing. In fact, in late 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded nearly $6 million over three years to the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality to help hospitals nationwide make quality improvements to maternity care to better support mothers and babies to be able to breastfeed. Click here for information on getting involved in the NICHQ’s Best Fed Beginnings program.
Where is your institution on the Baby Friendly Spectrum?
Whether you are considering applying, just initiating the process, or in the depth of completion for certification – here are some web resources that may be useful toward your efforts.
Initially, make sure you have investigated all of the great information directly from Baby Friendly USA. This site is filled with details, schedules, suggestions, and resources. It’s a great place to begin your path toward baby friendly.
The breastfeeding coalitions have stepped up and offer some great video resources for those of us in the trenches of the Baby Friendly effort. Here is a catchy, simple video from breastfeedLA.org. IBCLCs could utilize this to introduce the 10 steps, congratulate staff for accomplishing several of the steps, or to motivate staff to progress through the Ten Steps – take a look!
Another coalition, this time in Massachusetts, is pulling together a baby friendly hospital rap video to emphasize that breastfeeding costs nothing and has no downside. The video is currently in its teaser stage – take a look and contribute if the effort inspires you.
The California Department of Health recently published a new training toolkit on its website. This toolkit is designed for both administrators and the interdisciplinary team that will develop and implement the new policies to support and promote breastfeeding. The reference list alone is worth visiting the site!
Lastly, as a previous marketing executive, I just have to share some motivational and promotional YouTube contributions from some Baby Friendly hospitals. These videos would be great to produce once you reach Baby Friendly status, however, they can also be utilized to demonstrate to administration the potential marketing advantages the Baby Friendly Designation can provide. “Wouldn’t it be great if our hospital had this type of press coverage?”
Texas Health Celebrates “Baby-Friendly” designation for three hospitals.
Mission Hospital becomes the first Baby Friendly hospital in North Carolina.
Harlem Hospital becomes the first hospital in New York City to gain Baby Friendly recognition.
As stated by William H. Dietz, MD, PH.D, director of the United States Center of Disease Control’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. “We know that breastfeeding rates are higher in Baby-Friendly hospitals, yet only 5 percent of babies in this country are born in these facilities. We need to help hospitals improve their maternity care to better support breastfeeding.” I’m hoping these web resources assist with your important efforts.
Please add additional web resources to the comments section below so we can all benefits from the wealth of information available via the Internet.
Wendy Wright, MBA, IBCLC Co-Owner Lactation Navigation – Workplace Lactation Consultants, LLC