MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., has become the first hospital in the DC/Maryland/Virginia region to achieve the Baby-Friendly designation.
GUH joins a group of fewer than 130 healthcare facilities nationwide to earn the designation from Baby-Friendly USA Inc., the accrediting body in the U.S. for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
“We are thrilled to have received this award from Baby-Friendly USA,” Carol Ryan, RN, MSN, IBCLC, FILCA, clinical manager, perinatal education and lactation services, said in a news release. “It’s an incredibly valuable distinction. It boils down to public health — increasing the health of our women and our children. But no matter how women choose to feed their babies, we give everyone 100% of our professional care.”Members of the maternity/perinatal staff helped the hospital achieve the national Baby-Friendly designation.
The initiative encourages and recognizes facilities that provide an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
Facilities must demonstrate they have integrated the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” — as outlined by UNICEF and the WHO — into practice for healthy newborns. Georgetown scored 100% on seven of the 10 steps and at least 90% on the remaining three steps.
“This important designation is indicative of our staff’s outstanding commitment to new mothers and their babies here at MedStar Georgetown,” hospital president Richard Goldberg said in the news release. “The combined expertise and dedication of our staff in labor and delivery, postpartum, neonatology, and parenting and lactation services helps us put our smallest patients first.”
Approximately 5% of all births in the U.S. occur in a Baby-Friendly hospital. “We are so pleased that residents who work and reside in the capitol of our country can now give birth in a Baby-Friendly hospital,” said Liz Westwater, project manager for Baby-Friendly USA.
LEARN MORE about the Baby-Friendly designation online at BabyFriendlyUSA.org.