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Centra designated Baby Friendly

Centra Southside Community Hospital (CSCH) has received the Baby-Friendly designation from the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Out of more than 6,000 hospitals and birthing centers nationwide, just over 500 have received the Baby-Friendly designation.

The designation was created to assist hospitals in providing support and education to new moms about the benefits of breastfeeding.

According to CSCH, earning the designation is a multi-year process that requires years of planning and preparation, followed by an on-site survey that ensures the hospital is practicing the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

“By helping our new moms nourish, nurture and bond with their new little ones, they will have the confidence and skills they need to successfully start and continue breastfeeding their babies,” Chief Nursing Officer Claudia Meinhard said. “We want to ensure our mothers who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot, or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported. This designation demonstrates our focus on offering families everything they need to give their babies the healthiest start in life.”

According to Kerry Mossler, with CSCH Community Engagement and Relations, research shows that babies who are breastfed have fewer ear infections and are less likely to have asthma, obesity, or Type 2 diabetes.

In addition, as part of the Baby-Friendly initiative, all healthy newborns at CSCH have skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately after birth.

“Bonding time is not interrupted for unnecessary medical procedures and babies are encouraged to stay with their parents throughout their stay in the birth center,” Mossler said.