Global Honor for Providence Newberg: World Health Organization and UNICEF Recognize Breastfeeding Program

February 01, 2011

Providence Newberg recently joined four hospitals in Oregon and 103 more across the nation certified as “Baby Friendly” facilities. The “Baby Friendly” hospital initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF to encourage and recognize hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding.

“Breast-feeding is very important to the health of a newborn – and mom, too,” says Providence pediatrician Sara Rollin, M.D. “Breast-feeding is proven to help reduce respiratory and ear infections in newborns as well as diarrhea.”

Developing a strong program to help mothers become successful with breast-feeding is essential to becoming certified as a “Baby Friendly” hospital. For more than 10 years, Providence Newberg nurses who specialize in breast-feeding have been advocates in the field – giving mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breast-feeding their babies.

“This certification demonstrates our commitment to breast-feeding and the benefits it provides newborns in our community,” says Pam Weaver, birth center manager at PNMC. “We are very proud of our team who worked so hard to earn this designation – we are blessed to have so many talented caregivers.”

To be considered for this honor, Providence Newberg demonstrated the policies and procedures that are in place to support breast-feeding and its education program for pregnant women. These include initiating breast-feeding within one hour of birth, with trained staff to support mom and baby, as well as “rooming in” where moms and infants stay together around the clock. The hospital runs an outpatient lactation clinic for follow-up care and breast-feeding supplies, and discourages the use of pacifiers and formula unless medically necessary.

In addition to the WHO and UNICEF designation, Providence Newberg also is the first hospital in Oregon to open a breast milk depot as a collection site for human breast milk to be used for medically fragile babies.