A Baby-Friendly Hospital
EvergreenHealth is proud to be the first hospital in the United States to be recognized as a Baby-Friendly Hospital (1996).
This is the gold standard of maternity care, awarded by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
Our Baby-Friendly Hospital status has been reviewed and renewed every five years, most recently in 2017.
About the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
The goal of the Baby Friendly Initiative is to promote breastfeeding to give babies for the best start in life.
Studies have shown that:
- breastfed babies have a lower risk of disease and overall improved health
- adults who were breastfed as babies may be less likely to develop risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity and high blood pressure
- women who don't breastfeed have increased risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and hip fractures in later life
As part of our Baby-Friendly Hospital designation, we:
- offer to help all mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth
- provide lactation services as well as breastfeeding classes to give you the confidence and skills needed to successfully breastfeed your newborn
- do not offer pacifiers or any food other than breast milk to breastfed babies
How do you become a Baby-friendly Hospital?
The criteria for becoming an accredited Baby-Friendly Hospital include:
- 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 maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.
- Giving newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, not even sips of water, unless medically indicated.
- Rooming in—allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encouraging breastfeeding on demand.
- Giving no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
- Fostering the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
The program also restricts the hospital's use of free infant formula or other infant care aids provided by formula manufacturers.
For more information
Visit the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative website