IU Health Bloomington Hospital earns “Baby-Friendly” designation
An IU Health Bloomington Release
Bloomington, Ind. (April 20, 2012) - Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital is now a Baby-Friendly Birth Facility.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated IU Health Bloomington Hospital as a Baby-Friendly Birth Facility. The hospital received the honor for being a leader in care for infant feeding.
“We are very proud of this recognition and have been striving to achieve this for several years,” says Dana Watters, executive director of Women & Children’s Services at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. “Only five percent of hospitals in the US have achieved Baby Friendly designation. We’re thrilled to be a part of this elite group and provide this level of care to our community.”
This honor sets IU Health Bloomington Hospital apart as one of only 140 Baby-Friendly hospitals in the U.S. and one of five in Indiana.
IU Health Bloomington worked with local organizations to achieve this status, says Watters.
“This is a recognition of the community,” she says. “Nurses and physicians at IU Health Bloomington Hospital, the staff at Women, Infant and Children (WIC), Southern Indiana Pediatrics, community lactation consultants, community childbirth educators and our patient advocates have worked for over 10 years to create an environment at IU Health Bloomington Hospital that maximizes support for the new family.”
Supporting new families in the community means encouraging healthy habits. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, new mothers should use breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for at least the first six months, while continuing to nurse throughout the first year. Doing so is beneficial to both mother and infant.
“We know that breast milk is the most complete nutrition possible for infants, offering the optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies necessary for each baby to thrive,” Watters explains. “Because of this, we want to promote breastfeeding to our new moms and help support them both in the hospital and at home in breastfeeding their babies.”
Research shows that breastfed children have fewer and less serious illnesses than those who never receive breast milk, including reduced risk of SIDS, and fewer cases of childhood cancer and diabetes. Mothers who choose to breastfeed experience decreased risks of breast and ovarian cancer, anemia and osteoporosis.
Decreasing infant diseases translates in savings to our healthcare system through decreased hospitalization and office visits. Breastfeeding decreases the risk to the infant of diarrhea, respiratory and ear infections and allergic skin disorders. For diarrhea alone, approximately 200,000 U.S. infants are hospitalized each year at a cost of more than half a billion dollars.
To learn more about Women & Children’s Services at IU Health Bloomington Hospital as well as childbirth classes and tours, visit iuhealth.org/bloomington.
About the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The BFHI assists hospitals in giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.
About Indiana University Health Bloomington
Indiana University Health Bloomington has provided leading care to south central Indiana for more than 105 years. As a not-for-profit organization, IU Health Bloomington serves a patient base of more than 415,000 people in 10 south central Indiana counties. It holds Magnet designation as well as Primary Stroke Center certification, is an accredited Chest Pain Center and received approval with commendation from the Commission on Cancer. To learn more about IU Health Bloomington, visit iuhealth.org/bloomington or call 812.353.5252.
As the only nationally recognized healthcare system in Indiana, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – and the depth of experience from the most complete network of highly skilled specialty and primary care physicians, gives IU Health unparalleled strength in delivering assurance to patients. Discover the strength at iuhealth.org.