Published on March 05, 2020

NMMC Women’s Hospital Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation

NMMC group of people from NICUTUPELO, Miss.—North Mississippi Medical Center-Women’s 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.

This distinguished honor demonstrates that NMMC is adhering 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 (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) 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.”

NMMC joins a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 604 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.

“Achieving the Baby-Friendly designation is not an easy task. We are very proud to be recognized for the hard work of our team members throughout this process,” said Ellen Friloux, vice president of NMMC Women and Children’s Services. “This designation recognizes our commitment to ensuring that every woman who delivers a baby here receives the resources, information and support needed to give her baby the healthiest start in life.”

Friloux noted that a new mother’s hospital experience strongly influences her ability to start and continue breastfeeding. “We want to ensure our mothers who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported.”

NMMC Women's Hospital opened in 1986 and offers family-centered care, whether the patient is a new mom, a newborn or a surgery patient. For more information, visit www.nmhs.net/pregnancy-birth.

As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at www.babyfriendlyusa.org.

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