What our Baby-Friendly status means

In 2000, UNICEF and the World Health Organization certified Providence BirthPlace as the 26th Baby-Friendly™ birth facility in the nation. This recognition is for leadership in establishing the highest standards possible for protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding. All staff nurses are trained in breastfeeding and can offer guidance and support during your breastfeeding experience.

Why is breastfeeding so important?
The experience of breastfeeding is important for so many reasons but the joyful bonding with your baby and the health benefits for both mother and baby are first and foremost.

Early breast milk is liquid gold - Known as liquid gold, colostrum (coh-LOSS-trum) is the thick yellow first breast milk that you make during pregnancy and just after birth. This milk is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby. Although your baby only gets a small amount of colostrum at each feeding, it matches the amount his or her tiny stomach can hold.

Your breast milk changes as your baby grows - Colostrum changes into what is called mature milk. By the third to fifth day after birth, this mature breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow. It is a thinner type of milk than colostrum, but it provides all of the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs.

Breast milk is easier to digest - For most babies - especially premature babies - breast milk is easier to digest than formula. The proteins in formula are made from cow's milk and it takes time for babies' stomachs to adjust to digesting them.

Breast milk fights disease - The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness. This protection is unique; formula cannot match the chemical makeup of human breast milk. In fact, among formula-fed babies, ear infections and diarrhea are more common.

Information provided by womenshealth.gov.

Helpful breastfeeding resources:

Baby-Friendly™ designation website
Breastfeeding videos
How to know your baby is getting enough milk