Our Impact: Policy - Baby Friendly Hospitals
Policy in Alameda County:
Eight birthing hospitals in Alameda County.
In 2011 there were 21,000 births in Alameda County which could have benefited from supportive breastfeeding policies.
41% of moms are exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months; only 21% at 6 months.
Baby Friendly Hospitals: The Significance
Baby Friendly Hospitals, a World Health Organization designation, are required to have hospital policies and staff training that contribute to greater breastfeeding success. Early success is critical to continued breastfeeding upon leaving the hospital. Breastfeeding promotes strong parent child attachment and has been shown to be a contributor to reduced rates of obesity in young children.
First 5 Alameda County supported efforts over 3 years at Highland Hospital to achieve Baby Friendly designation. Highland Hospital has over 1109 births /year.
First 5 provides trainings to support lactation for home visitors, pediatricians and other community based providers.
Effects of Policy Change:
With a renewed national focus on promotion of breastfeeding, First 5 Alameda County is promoting "Baby Friendly" accreditation at all birthing hospitals in Alameda County. Currently Kaiser Hayward and Highland Hospital are “Baby Friendly.” In addition, the new requirements for Joint Commission accreditation will require hospitals with more than 1100 births per year to promote exclusive breastfeeding by 2014.