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Who is Nevada’s First “Baby-Friendly” Hospital?

Young woman breast feeding a babyToday’s post is from our community partner, Toast Carson Tahoe.

Once upon a time in the delivery room, there was a beautiful new mother, glowing from only the slightest of perspiration and drug-free effort after delivering a perfect eight pound babe, who cried nary a peep and immediately smiled upon seeing mom and dad. The fairy tale continued as the doctor pronounced mother and babe the most perfect family with the best birth ever that went exactly according to plan.

As the nurse handed the clean, swaddled, gurgling babe to mother, everyone in the room held their breath in anticipation of that priceless first moment of mother bringing the babe to her breast for a picture-perfect instant of instinctive nourishment and care.

But mom couldn’t finagle her boob out of her gown and hold the baby at the same time. And then it seemed like her nipple was turning inward. Where was that colostrum – was it supposed to have come in already? Okay, boob out, reposition baby, do I need that Boppy, okay, grab the Boppy and just bring the baby’s head in….but why isn’t she latching? Am I supposed to put it in her mouth? She’s turning away. Isn’t she hungry? What am I doing wrong?!

When the fairy tale is over, you want the very best lactation experts on hand to help you (and your baby) get off to a strong start if you are choosing to breastfeed. Lucky for moms in northern Nevada, we have Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center: the state’s only hospital to have received prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly® birth facility.

This designation is awarded only to facilities that adhere to top breastfeeding standards set by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on ten steps to successful breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

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 the 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 are separated from their infants.
  6. Give 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 pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

Carson Tahoe is honored to join the ranks of 176 prestigious Baby-Friendly hospitals across the world. Breastfeeding provides an essential combination of antibodies and nutrients that are important to the health of newborn babies. In addition, both the mother and baby have shown to benefit from the unique, special relationship created through breastfeeding.

To learn more about the Baby-Friendly hospital designation, go to www.babyfriendlyusa.org.


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The Reno Moms Blog is a community resource connecting Northern Nevada moms to each other and local resources both online and offline for nurturing, education, friendship and support.

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