WILMINGTON – Clinton Memorial Hospital, along with other maternity centers in Ohio, is taking steps to promote its support of successful breastfeeding.
The Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies is a voluntary breastfeeding designation program through the Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Department of Health that recognizes maternity centers in Ohio for taking steps to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding in their organization.
A star is awarded for every two steps achieved in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, as defined by the World Health Organization and Baby-Friendly USA.
The initiative encourages maternity centers across the state to promote and support breastfeeding one step at a time. CMH was recognized this year for completing two more steps in the ten-step program, bringing them to three stars.
To participate with the program, CMH provides information and hospital practices supportive of breastfeeding and the Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies program.
“It is our hope that Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies will prompt our leaders and employees to have thoughtful conversations in the hospitals about the benefits of breastfeeding in order to educate patients and the community,” said Bonnie Rusch, Director of Mother-Baby Care at CMH. “The support a new mother receives from hospital employees and leaders can impact her decision to breastfeed. Increasing the number of breastfed newborns can lead to a decrease in the likelihood for future health conditions for the child such as asthma, diabetes and obesity.”
CMH was also recognized as a “Bag Free” Facility again this year, marking its third year in a row receiving the designation. This Maternity Care Best Practice Award recognizes hospitals for removal of free infant formula samples and formula company branded diaper bags and goods.
This supports hospitals in progress towards practices that align with “Baby-Friendly USA” certification requirements, as well as the overall goal of reducing infant mortality in Ohio.