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Hoag Hospital Certified as Baby-Friendly Facility

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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Hoag Hospital recognized by World Health Organization and UNICEF as providing optimal level care to breastfeeding mothers and infants

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian announced today its designation as a certified Baby-Friendly birth facility, by Baby-Friendly USA, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Baby-Friendly USA is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, an international program dedicated to recognizing hospital and birthing facilities that offer an optimal level of care and education in lactation.

Orange County has continually scored low for the percentage of mothers that breastfeed compared with other counties throughout California and the nation. Hoag Hospital has remained dedicated to changing this trend through providing comprehensive educational programs and lactation support for mothers and their infants. Hoag's participation in the global Baby-Friendly program is yet another example of the hospital's ongoing commitment to promote and support the benefits of breastfeeding.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breast milk provides superior nutrition for newborns and benefits both mother and baby. Breast milk aids in enhanced cognitive development and growth due to the optimal absorption of protein and other nutrients. The antibodies and leukocytes (cells that defends the body against infection and disease) contained in breast milk protect the infant against pathogens. Studies have shown breast milk significantly decreases the baby's risk for a large number of acute and chronic diseases such as stomach viruses, diarrhea, respiratory infections, obesity, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding mothers experience less postpartum bleeding and earlier return to pre-pregnant weight, as well as a reduced risk of ovarian cancer and premenopausal breast cancer.

"We are honored to achieve recognition as a Baby-Friendly Hospital," said Richard Martin, M.S.N., R.N., vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer. "This prestigious designation validates the ongoing effort and dedication of Hoag's mother-baby team in providing comprehensive support and education for breastfeeding mothers and their infants.

Hoag has continued to focus on educating women and their families on the advantages of breastfeeding through its team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC). This team provides prenatal breastfeeding classes through Hoag's Obstetric (OB) Education Program, in-hospital instruction and support to new mothers, and a postpartum breastfeeding clinic that provides one-on-one consultation. Hoag OB Education operates a free helpline - Babyline - where breastfeeding mothers can call in with questions or concerns.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) shows that 66 percent of the mothers sampled initiated breastfeeding, yet only 18 percent exclusively breastfeed for more than eight weeks. Hoag's breastfeeding programs are designed to provide the ongoing support and resources that mothers need in order to help them to successfully continue breastfeeding throughout their baby's first year and beyond.

"Our team's continued dedication and effort in promoting and supporting breastfeeding has resulted not only in Hoag being designated as a Baby-Friendly birth center, but also in a steady increase in the number of women who give birth at Hoag successfully initiating and maintaining an exclusive breastfeeding relationship with their infants." said Kim Mullen, M.S.N., R.N., executive nursing director of Women's Health Services. "By remaining dedicated to lactation education and support, we hope to continue to make great strides in improving the breastfeeding rates among Orange County women."

About Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian (www.hoaghospital.org) is a 498-bed, not-for-profit, acute care hospital located in Newport Beach, Calif. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and designated as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Hoag offers a comprehensive mix of health care services, including Centers of Excellence in cancer, heart and vascular, neurosciences, orthopedics and women's health. National Research Corporation has endorsed Hoag as Orange County's most preferred hospital for the past 13 consecutive years. And for an unprecedented 13 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as the county's best hospital in a local newspaper survey. In order to meet the growing needs of Irvine and South County residents, Hoag will open an Irvine campus in 2010. Hoag continues to offer additional services to the community through the seven Hoag Health Centers located throughout Orange County.

SOURCE Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
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