New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital has received the North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation from the N.C. Division of Public Health.
The women’s and children’s hospital received the highest designation of 5 stars for implementing policies and practices that support a breastfeeding-friendly environment for patients. The designation is based on the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
"At NHRMC's Betty H. Cameron's Women's & Children's Hospital, we are committed to providing support to help families succeed in breastfeeding," said Heather Renye, RN, the hospital’s lactation coordinator. "The nurses and lactation consultants provide education on the benefits of breastfeeding. We provide support based on what the family’s feeding goal is so they may be successful in their feeding journey. Connecting families with ongoing lactation support in our community is a key to successful breastfeeding."
The hospital offers Mother's Milk Club, where moms can connect with other new moms and get breastfeeding support from certified lactation consultants. The club is currently held via Zoom due to the pandemic.
Breast milk naturally reformulates to meet the growing needs of the infant. Additionally, antibodies are passed to the infant through breast milk, providing immunity that is not possible with formula.
The N.C. Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation is valid for a period of three years. The WHO's Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
- Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
- Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
- Practice rooming in-allow mothers and infants to remain together-24 hours a day.
- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
- Give no artificial teats (also called bottle nipples) or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.