RRMC chosen for breastfeeding project
SALISBURY — Rowan Regional Medical Center has been selected to participate Best Fed Beginnings, a first-of-its-kind national effort to improve breastfeeding rates in states where rates are the lowest.
Although breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers, half of U.S.-born babies are given formula within the first week. By nine months, only 31 percent of babies are breastfeeding at all.
Best Fed Beginnings seeks to reverse these trends by increasing the number of U.S. hospitals implementing a proven model for maternity services that better supports a new mother’s choice to breastfeed.
The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality is leading the effort through a cooperative funding agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will be working closely with Baby-Friendly USA.
“Rowan Regional is delighted to have been chosen to participate in this important effort and to have the opportunity to improve our maternity care services to better support breastfeeding,” hospital President Dari Caldwell said in a statement. “We recognize that for women who plan to breastfeed, the hospital experience strongly influences a mother’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding.”
Caldwell said RRMC is committed to the Baby-Friendly designation process, ensuring that mothers delivering in Salisbury who intend to breastfeed are fully supported.
In addition to Rowan, 89 other hospitals across the nation are participating in this initiative.
The groups will work together in a 22-month learning collaborative using proven quality improvement methods to transform their maternity care services in pursuit of “Baby-Friendly” designation.
This designation verifies that a hospital has implemented the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, established in the World Health Organization and UNICEF’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Breastfeeding rates are higher and disparities are virtually eliminated in hospitals that achieve this status.
The application process was competitive.
“The large number of applications we received affirms the commitment of hospitals across our country to be part of a health care system that truly focuses on promoting health for women and infants,” said Dr. Charlie Homer, president and CEO of the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality.
“We are especially pleased that we received so many applications from hospitals in states where there are so few facilities with Baby-Friendly designation and from hospitals that serve populations of women who now are much less likely to breastfeed.”
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for infants and mothers.
For infants, it decreases the incidence and severity of many infectious diseases, reduces infant mortality and supports brain development. It also decreases infants’ risk of becoming obese later in childhood.
For mothers, breastfeeding decreases the risks of breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
Other North Carolina hospitals accepted into the program include:
• Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte
• Presbyterian Hospital Charlotte, Charlotte
• Women's Hospital/Cone Health, Greensboro
• New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington
About Baby-Friendly USA is part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother-baby bonding.
For more information, visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org .