Kona Community Hospital achieves international Baby-Friendly designation
Kona Community Hospital has achieved the highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States, according to a press release from Kona Community Hospital.
To receive this distinguished honor, a hospital must adhere to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.
The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well-documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. For example, the Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”
Kona Community Hospital joins a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 600 of which are in the United States. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.
“This designation is the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination across our organization, all with a goal of helping families get off to a good start,” said Heidi Fromm, the hospital’s obstetrics nurse manager. “We are proud to offer an environment that supports best practices shown to increase breastfeeding exclusivity and duration and are committed to give moms who choose to breastfeed the best chance for success.”