Washington Hospital has earned the distinction as a "Baby-Friendly
Hospital" from the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global
program launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United
Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The designation recognizes hospitals
and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant
feeding and mother/baby bonding. Fewer than 175 hospitals in the U.S.
"I'm very proud of our dedicated staff at the birthing center for
earning this designation," said Nancy Farber, chief executive officer of
Washington Hospital Healthcare System. "Being a 'Baby-Friendly Hospital'
is an important honor and an acknowledgement of the first-rate care that
our birthing center provides to the mothers who choose to give birth at
According to Baby-Friendly USA, the accrediting body for the
Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the U.S., the BFHI assists
hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills
necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their
babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to
hospitals that have done so. The initiative is endorsed by the American
Academy f Pediatrics.
"We are very excited about becoming a Baby-Friendly Hospital. We've been
working to achieve this designation for a long time," said Christine
Bedgood, R.N., one of Washington Hospital's trained lactation
consultants. "It affirms that we are providing the healthiest possible
start for babies and, ultimately, this is good for the entire community."
Studies also show that, as they grow up, breastfed babies tend to be
less likely to suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes or obesity.
Besides the emotional benefits of the close relationship formed between
breastfeeding mothers and babies, moms who breastfeed have been shown to
experience decreased risks of breast and ovarian cancer, anemia and
"Breastfeeding is not just about babies, it's about children," added
Bedgood. "The positive health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for
the first six months of life have been shown to continue with fewer,
less serious childhood illnesses."
For more information on birthing services at Washington Hospital visit whhs.com/womens-health/pregnancy.
About Washington Township Health Care District:
Washington Township Health Care District is governed by an elected board
of directors. Unlike a municipal or county hospital, Washington
Hospital's operating expenses, research, community programs, and
employee salaries are funded by revenues generated through providing
patient and other health care services. Washington Hospital Healthcare
System includes a 353-bed acute-care hospital; the Taylor McAdam Bell
Neuroscience Institute; The Gamma Knife® Center; Washington Radiation
Oncology Center; Washington Outpatient Surgery Center; Washington
Outpatient Rehabilitation Center; The Institute for Joint Restoration
and Research; the Institute for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery;
and Washington West, a complex which houses Washington Women's Center,
Outpatient Imaging Center, Sandy Amos R.N. Infusion Center, Washington
Urgent Care and additional outpatient hospital services and
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