Boulder Community Health announced that the Family Birth Center at Foothills Hospital has been named a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative – a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

This important designation recognizes BCH as having an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The Family Birth Center underwent a rigorous on-site review by Baby-Friendly USA, the program’s United States accrediting body, to ensure it offers new mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

Lisa Allen, RN, director of the Family Birth Center, commented, “The Family Birth Center has a long-standing history of excellent breastfeeding support. Achieving Baby-Friendly designation demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest level of evidence-based care and our ability to help parents and their newborns attain a successful breastfeeding experience.”

There are 300 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States and approximately 20,000 worldwide.

The 10 Steps to Baby Friendly are:

1. Communicate a written breastfeeding policy regularly with staff.

2. Train staff in skills needed to put the policy in practice.

3. Educate pregnant patients about the the benefits of breastfeeding and how best to manage it.

4. Help moms start breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

5. Show moms how to breastfeed and maintain lactation, even when separated from their infants.

6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.

7. Practice "rooming in" - allow moms and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.

8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.

9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.

10. Help establish breastfeeding support groups. Refer moms to these groups upon discharge from the birth center.

For more information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org or email info@babyfriendlyusa.org.