WILMINGTON – New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital has received designation as a Baby-Friendly facility. This designation recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of family-centered care and education on infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund in 1991. It assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely. Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in providing maternity care services that support mother/baby bonding.
“I am incredibly proud of our team for attaining Baby-Friendly Hospital designation,” said Barbara Buechler, Administrator of the NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital. “This achievement demonstrates NHRMC’s commitment to excellence, commitment to continuous improvement, and our commitment to family-centered care.”
The designation process began with NHRMC’s participation in the Best Fed Beginnings collaborative program, a nationwide quality improvement initiative to help hospitals improve maternity care. NHRMC staff also worked to develop education modules for patients and hospital staff. These educational tools led to the successful implementation of evidence-based practices such as keeping moms and babies in the same room throughout their hospital stay, frequent skin-to-skin contact between parents and babies, and initiating breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
“Our staff embraced the opportunity to focus on family-centered care and the benefits breastfeeding brings to the infant and mother,” said Women’s and Children’s Hospital Lactation Program Coordinator Gigi Lawless. “We recognize that for women who plan to breastfeed, the hospital experience strongly influences their ability to start and continue breastfeeding. We are committed to implementing evidence-based practices, ensuring mothers delivering in our facility who intend to breastfeed are fully supported.”
New Hanover Regional Medical Center Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital offers obstetrical care for routine and high-risk deliveries, welcoming more than 4,000 new lives each year. The hospital is dedicated to a family-centered birth experience and providing a family setting that supports rooming-in and skin-to-skin contact between newborn babies and their mothers. For babies born premature or critically ill, the hospital is home to a 45-bed, all-private-room Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the region’s first. NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital also has the only pediatric unit and pediatric intensive care unit in the region.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating almost 6,000 jobs directly and another 6,000 jobs indirectly.