MD (November 13, 2012) – At Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, the Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today released the 2012 Maryland Hospital Breastfeeding Policy Recommendations. The recommendations lay out evidence-based
practices to help hospitals eliminate hidden barriers and support new mothers who
choose to breastfeed.
recommendations were developed over more than nine months through a review of
evidence-based practices and public input.
More than 150 public comments were received and considered before the
recommendations were finalized.
“Our goal is for mothers who choose to breastfeed to be
successful,” said Frances Phillips, R.N., DHMH Deputy Secretary of Public
Health Services. “We are pleased to see significant interest by Maryland
hospitals, including Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, to support babies and
mothers in breastfeeding.”
milk is the optimal food for infants, and babies who are breastfed have fewer
respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. The American Academy of Pediatrics
has also found evidence that breastfeeding is associated with reduced rates of
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, allergic disease, obesity, and other conditions. The
Academy recommends that babies receive breast milk exclusively for the first 6
months of life, and continue breastfeeding for the first year or longer.
experience in the hospital can greatly influence a mother’s success at
breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention has developed the National Survey of Maternity Practices
in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) to assess “birth facility policies and
practices that create a supportive environment for breastfeeding.” According to the 2011 Breastfeeding Report
Card, Maryland’s average mPINC score was 68, ranking the state 15th
in the country.
support for mothers who choose to breastfeed, the 2012 Maryland Hospital Breastfeeding Policy Recommendations call
for hospitals to:
- Maintain a written breastfeeding
policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care staff in
skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Inform all pregnant women about the
benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding
within one hour of birth.
- Show mothers how to breastfeed and
how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
- Give newborn infants no food or
drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- Practice “rooming-in” – allow
mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encourage unrestricted
- Give no pacifiers or artificial
nipples to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of
breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from
the hospital or clinic.
can also meet the recommendations by obtaining Baby-Friendly certification
through the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
officials salute the work done by the clinical team at Shady Grove Adventist
Hospital to provide a supportive and educational environment around
breastfeeding. Shady Grove not only is implementing all ten criteria in the
recommendations but also is the first Maryland hospital poised to attain
Baby-Friendly certification through the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (www.babyfriendlyusa.org).
Adventist Hospital is pleased to be recognized as helping to lead the way in
Maryland by employing all ten of the state’s recommendations as we pursue
Baby-Friendly status,” said Dennis Hansen, President of Shady Grove Adventist
Hospital. “This is a reflection of the commitment of our Birth Center’s team to
advancing the health of our
For more information: The 2012 Maryland Hospital Breastfeeding Policy
Recommendations is online at www.dhmh.maryland.gov under ‘Hot Topics – Breastfeeding Policy.’
CDC’s breastfeeding report card is online
at http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/pdf/2011breastfeedingreportcard.pdf and more
information is available about mPINC at http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/mpinc/index.htm
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