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Baptist Hospital earns Baby-Friendly designation

New babies on the block will receive a higher standard of care thanks to Baptist Hospital-North Mississippi’s latest designation as a Baby-Friendly birth facility.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. has designated Baptist a Baby-Friendly facility for its commitment to encouraging new mothers to breastfeed their babies, a statement from the hospital said. The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

According to the statement, scientific evidence points to lower risks for certain diseases and improved health outcomes for both mothers and babies who breastfeed. Bill Henning, administrator and chief executive officer of BMH-NM, said the prestigious designation is the product of hard work.

“Earning Baby-Friendly designation is a great achievement and one that Baptist is extremely proud of,” Henning said. “Our team went through extensive training to learn how best to support new families in infant feeding. Without their hard work and dedication this accomplishment would not have been possible.”

As part of the Baby-Friendly initiative, healthy newborns at Baptist Hospital-North Mississippi are placed immediately on their mothers at birth for skin-to-skin contact. Babies are not interrupted for unnecessary medical procedures as they bond with their mothers and make their first feeding attempts.

Baptist Hospital-North Mississippi is one of five Baby-Friendly facilities in the state. Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“Recognition as a Baby-Friendly facility demonstrates our team’s commitment to providing evidence-based maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding, as well as strengthening the bond between mother and baby,” said Mark Ottens, chief nursing officer at BMH-NM.  “The Baby-Friendly assessment team’s rigorous review of our program is another confirmation that we are delivering the highest standard of care to our new mothers.”