Highland Hospital Achieves ‘Baby-Friendly’ Designation
OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Highland Hospital, the flagship health care facility of Alameda County Medical Center (ACMC) (www.acmedctr.com), announced it has earned the prestigious “Baby-Friendly” designation from an organization that administers the program in the U.S. for its sponsors, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Highland joins 126 of the nation’s 5,754 hospitals to be designated Baby-Friendly and is the third Bay Area hospital to achieve the designation, according to the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative USA (BFHI) — the organization authorized by UNICEF and WHO to administer the program in the U.S.
Hospitals seeking Baby-Friendly status must register with Baby-Friendly USA; complete a challenging list of requirements; and demonstrate they have correctly integrated the Baby-Friendly standards into their practices for healthy newborns during an on-site assessment.
Highland Hospital is growing in recognition as a quality provider of Maternal Child Health services with 1,154 deliveries in 2011. At Highland, new mothers who make the decision to exclusively breastfeed their babies are cared for by Lactation Consultants who are examined and certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultants as well as by licensed midwives, nurses and other providers who have received additional training in lactation.
Dr. Johara Chapman, chair of ACMCs Maternal Child Health Department, says that childhood obesity is an epidemic and that exclusive breastfeeding is a key to reducing the numbers of children who are overweight or obese.
“In the U.S. one preschooler in five is overweight and more than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, and yet, a baby’s risk of becoming an overweight child decreases with each month of breastfeeding,” Chapman says. “The designation recognizes our efforts to give babies a great start. Children born at a Baby-Friendly hospital are more likely to have better health as they grow and longer life expectancies as they age.”
Alameda County Medical Center (ACMC) is a nationally recognized public healthcare system with more than 2,800 employees and 475 accredited beds. It serves the residents of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area through six facilities including Highland Hospital in Oakland.
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SOURCE Alameda County Medical Center