Hospital recognized for commitment to breastfeeding education and resources

Covington, LA — Lakeview Regional Medical Center, a campus of Tulane Medical Center, has earned prestigious international recognition as a designated "Baby-Friendly" birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA. This award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

Baby-Friendly USA is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative ("BFHI"), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations International Emergency Children's Fund . The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. In order to receive Baby-Friendly designation, hospitals must incorporate the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which include prenatal education about optimal infant feeding, keeping mothers and babies together, breastfeeding within one hour, feeding on demand, teaching mothers how to initiate and maintain lactation and referrals to local breastfeeding support groups.

"We are proud of the work our staff and providers have done to implement this program and provide our mothers the tools they need to make informed decisions about what is best for themselves and their babies," said Jennifer Schmidt, Lakeview Regional's chief nursing officer. "By embracing this initiative, we are creating a caring and compassionate environment where mothers who choose to breastfeed are given the best chances for success." Every mother should be educated on the importance of breastfeeding and respected to make her own decision regarding what is best for her and her baby. All mothers are educated on best practices related to the feeding method of her choice.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently, there are 578 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The "Baby-Friendly" designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

Lakeview Regional Women and Children's Services department, with over 1,300 years of combined experience, offers maternity care services focused on family-centered care encompassing the physical and emotional wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children, and pre/post-menopausal women. The specialized care team for expectant mothers will help design a personal birthing experience that is right for each woman and unborn child. From pre-natal classes to private suites for labor, delivery and recovery to the newborn observation unit, neonatal intensive care unit, and lactation services, Lakeview Regional provides the most comprehensive state-of-the-art care for mothers and unborn babies.