Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center earns prestigious Baby-Friendly designation
Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center has earned international designation as a Baby-Friendly hospital for meeting the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
“Asante has long been a recognized leader in the care of women and newborns,” said Sarah Hillyer, director of Nursing who oversees obstetrics at all three Asante hospitals. “This designation is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that every woman who delivers a baby at our facility is given the resources, information and support to help her and her baby get the best, healthiest start in life.”
To become a Baby-Friendly hospital, it must meet strict standards and employ certain practices to encourage breastfeeding, which is medically proven to improve health outcomes and lower risk for certain diseases.
Although Baby-Friendly hospitals actively promote breastfeeding, the designation does not take away personal choice. Formula will be supplied, for example, when it’s medically required. And all mothers are treated with respect regardless of their feeding decisions.
“We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation to ensure that mothers delivering in our facility who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported,” Hillyer said.
To qualify, hospitals must educate all employees on Baby-Friendly practices, not just those who work in family birth centers. This is because being truly Baby-Friendly involves employees throughout the organization — from administrators who must develop policies, to lactation specialists and emergency department providers who must consider how certain tests may affect a mother’s milk.
Certification is granted by Baby-Friendly USA, part of a global effort to encourage evidence-based best practices recommended by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
“This designation is the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination across our organization, all with a goal of helping families get off to a good start,” said Amanda Kotler, chief nursing officer for Asante. “We’re proud to offer an environment that supports best practices and are committed to giving moms and newborns the best chance for success.”
Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass earned Baby-Friendly certification in 1999. Asante Ashland Community Hospital is in its final stages of obtaining this designation as well.
To learn more about Baby-Friendly USA, visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org.