Providence St. Vincent honored by The World Health Organization and Unicef for breastfeeding program

March 28, 2017

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center has been recognized for efforts to encourage breast feeding by earning the Baby-Friendly designation from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF. This prestigious designation is the gold standard of maternity care and follows a rigorous multi-year review and on-site survey.

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center has been a leader in maternal care for decades. One in eight babies in Oregon is delivered at Providence St. Vincent. The hospital joins four other Providence hospitals in Oregon and 417 others across the United States certified as Baby-Friendly.

“Successful breastfeeding is vital to the health of mom and baby,” said Lora Horn, RN, director of maternal and child division, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. “Breast milk has been shown to build a new baby’s immune system while mom bonds with her baby. Breastfeeding also helps lower cancer risk.”

The foundation of the Baby-Friendly distinction is the adherence to the ten steps to successful breastfeeding. The steps include helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth; practicing rooming-in, allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day; refraining from using a pacifier or giving other food and drink; training caregivers; and providing education and on-going support for women.

“We are very proud of our team and the work that has been done to achieve this designation,” added Horn.

In 2016, more than 4,000 babies were born at Providence St. Vincent. After families leave the hospital, new moms can receive ongoing support from internationally board-certified lactation consultants at the Providence Mother and Baby Clinic.