An Officially Baby-Friendly Hospital
Your breast milk is the best possible food for your child. Not only does breast milk contain the ideal balance of nutrients to help your baby grow, it also contains antibodies that help protect your baby from illness and infection. And, of course, breastfeeding strengthens the emotional bond between you and your baby. As a strong proponent of breastfeeding, our hospital is a proud participant in The Baby-Friendly Initiative, a global program sponsored by the United Nations International Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization. The Initiative recognizes hospitals and birth centers that offer an evidence-based, optimal level of care to promote breastfeeding.
We are one of only 414 US hospitals and birth centers (out of over 6000) to hold Baby-Friendly status. In order to receive the prestigious Baby-Friendly accreditation, Marin General Hospital had to review and refine our procedures to meet some important requirements:
- We train our staff to implement and promote our breastfeeding policy and do all we can to educate moms-to-be about the importance of breastfeeding. By using the latest evidence based breastfeeding data, our patients are provided with the highest quality consistent education.
- We facilitate “skin to skin” bonding at birth. Instead of being whisked away for a bath, our newborns are gently wiped down and placed on their mother’s breast. This encourages feeding behavior, helps mother and baby bond, keeps the baby warm, regulates blood sugar, and stimulates milk production.
- We also delay bathing and weighing to allow the baby to breastfeed. This has been shown to have many significant benefits such as maintaining newborn body temperature, heart rate, and bonding.
- We work with new moms to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after the birth of their babies. We practice “rooming-in,” so that mothers and infants can remain together 24-hours a day, and babies can be fed on demand.
- We teach mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation when they are away from their babies. Before we discharge every new mom, we provide referrals to breastfeeding support groups.