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Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center recognized as ‘Baby-Friendly’

THOMASVILLE, N.C. – Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center joins an elite group of North Carolina hospitals that have received international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, first launched in 1991. The initiative’s goal is to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies through breast-feeding and immediate skin-to-skin bonding by recognizing birthing facilities that successfully implement 10 steps to successful breast-feeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center is one of five Novant Health hospital in North Carolina to receive the designation. Fewer than 500 hospitals of the more than 5,000 across the country have achieved the designation.

“Providing infants with human milk gives them the most complete nutrition possible as evidenced by scientific studies showing that breastfed children have far fewer and less serious illnesses. Breastfeeding also provides multiple health and wellness benefits to the mother,” said Nancy Pearson, chief nursing officer at Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center. “We’re proud to have been designated as a Baby-Friendly facility because it exemplifies our commitment to continue our mission and vision to the families in the communities we serve.”  

Research shows that breastfed babies reap medical benefits, including lower risk of a wealth of chronic and acute conditions. Since 1990, breastfeeding rates in the U.S. have been rising steadily. Today, about 81 percent of mothers start out breastfeeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card. For optimum growth and development, moms should breastfeed exclusively until babies are six months old, and continue until at least their first birthday, according to recommendations by the American Association of Pediatrics.

“Our primary goal is that every patient we encounter understands the benefits of human milk and that they are able to make informed decisions as it relates to their newborn’s feeding plan,” said Trisha Garner, the nurse manager for women’s services at Thomasville Medical Center. “Our team of nurses, providers, and lactation consultants do great work and ultimately want to see every infant grow and develop into a healthy adult.” 

Thomasville Medical Center joins four other Novant Health hospitals in North Carolina that have been designated Baby-Friendly: Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center and Novant Health Matthews Medical Center. 

Posted on Tuesday, October 3, 2017