Bakersfield Memorial Hospital First Hospital in Kern County to Receive Gold Standard in Breast Feeding

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On May 20, 2016 Bakersfield Memorial Hospital announced it had achieved Baby-Friendly® designation from Baby-Friendly USA. Baby-Friendly hospitals are recognized worldwide for being the gold standard concerning infant bonding and breastfeeding practices in their birthing units.

All mothers who come to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital are educated on the benefits of feeding their baby breastmilk and are provided with support to be successful at breastfeeding throughout their hospital stay.

The U.S. Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria for Baby-Friendly® designation are based on the Global Criteria for the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and are adapted for the U.S. Initiative and have been reviewed at UNICEF Headquarters and are determined to meet the global BFHI standards. The Criteria is designed to set the standards for the best possible breastfeeding support for mother and infant in the maternity setting and to insure high quality care in the critical area of mother and baby care.

Memorial Hospital began the initial Discovery Phase of Baby-Friendly certification in 2009 and has been in the planning and implementing the recommended best practices for designation since 2011. The exclusive breast feeding rate at Memorial Hospital was 33% when the process began in 2009 and has since jumped to 63% as of March 2016. Studies show links between breastfeeding and improved health in children; higher IQs, reduced trips to the pediatrician, fewer ear infections, higher immunity, and reduced risk for diabetes. Baby is not the only one to receive benefits from breastfeeding, for mom; reduced risk of postpartum depression, reduced risk of post-delivery bleeding complications, reduced risk of ovarian cancer, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Memorial becomes the first hospital in Kern County to receive the Baby Friendly® Accreditation. Memorial supports and protects breastfeeding, and promotes mother/baby bonding immediately after birth and throughout the entire hospital space, regardless of the delivery method. “Receiving this designation is an amazing accomplishment,” stated Jenny Wilson, Director of Nursing Operations at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. “Our hospital treasures the golden hour after birth and all mothers who come to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital are educated on the benefits of feeding their baby breastmilk and are provided with support to be successful at breastfeeding throughout their hospital stay”

About Bakersfield Memorial Hospital

Bakersfield Memorial Hospital is a 426 bed acute care medical center offering a full range of services including the Sarvanand Heart and Stroke Center, The Grossman Burn Center at Memorial Hospital, expanded maternity and family care, the Lauren Small Children’s Center, orthopedic services, 24-hour emergency care and general/outpatient surgery. Memorial Hospital is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and is home to the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House. Memorial Hospital is a member of Dignity Health and is a trusted community partner, serving residents of Bakersfield and Kern County with quality care since 1956.

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Michelle Willow
Dignity Health
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