Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center Recognized by the Virginia Department of Health as Breastfeeding-Friendly

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System has announced that Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center has received the Virginia Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation from the Virginia Department of Health.   Bon Secours Maryview was designated with one star, the highest rating that can be achieved at this time for their efforts in implementing policies and practices that support a breastfeeding-friendly environment for patients.   Bon Secours Maryview Medical is one of 13 hospitals in Virginia with this designation.  
“As a Catholic health care ministry, Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center is committed to improving overall health of our community,” said Joseph Oddis, CEO for Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center.  “Medical evidence in favor of breastfeeding is overwhelming.  We know that breastfeeding helps to boost immunity and that the maternal-infant bond facilitates early mental and emotional development.   We are honored to join the Department of Health to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in Virginia.”
The designation is based on the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These steps support initiation, exclusivity and continuation of breastfeeding.
The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
7. Practice rooming in-allow mothers and infants to remain together-24 hours a day.
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9. Give no artificial teats (also called bottle nipples) or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
Participating facilities in Virginia earn a star for every two steps implemented from the Ten Steps. The Virginia Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation is valid for a period of three years. Facilities that implement additional steps may re-apply for a higher star level at any time. This initiative promotes a continuum of quality improvement and is endorsed by the Virginia Breastfeeding Task Force, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, the Virginia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Safe Kids Virginia.