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WJBD - Local News - St. Mary's Hospital Seeking "Baby-Friendly" Hospital Designation

St. Mary's Hospital Seeking "Baby-Friendly" Hospital Designation

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

Centralia's St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital is beginning to make the required steps in order to become what the World Health Organization calls a "Baby-Friendly Hospital". The designation is part of a WHO initiative to make hospitals a supportive place for mothers who want to breastfeed. The We Choose Health organization will fund and support local community groups in order to achieve the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation at local area hospitals.

14 Illinois hospitals are currently engaged in an $11,000 grant program meant to support hospital efforts to gain the Baby-Friendly designation. The grant is provided by the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Center for Disease Control.

St. Mary's Hospital Director of Obstetrics, Pat Baker, says that the hospital strives to give mothers and children a great start together after birth by providing "the best in evidence-based care".

St. Mary's Obstetrics staff already completed a five-day training seminar on Breastfeeding earlier last month as well as created their own training program to fit the needs to a facility. The training fulfilled one of the four steps required to achieve the designation, a process Hospital Administrators believe will take about three years.

More information on the program is available on St. Mary's Hospital's website, smgsi.com.

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