CHARLOTTE, N.C. ― Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center and Novant Health Rowan Medical Center were recently awarded the five-star North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The designation is based on the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which support initiation, exclusivity and continuation of breastfeeding.
“We are thrilled to be recognized for our Breastfeeding-Friendly initiatives,” said Pat Campbell, system administrative executive of the Novant Health Women & Children’s Health Institute. “Novant Health understands that women who choose to breastfeed may need extra support during their hospital stay. The evidence-based guidelines reinforced by the Breastfeeding-Friendly program help us provide that support to mothers and their growing families.”
As Breastfeeding-Friendly hospitals, these five facilities are staffed with lactation consultants who assist mothers in gaining the skills and confidence they need to breastfeed once the baby arrives. Novant Health also practices encouraging skin-to-skin contact between mothers and newborns and rooming in, allowing the baby to stay in the mother’s room during their time in the hospital. Both practices encourage bonding and improve the newborn’s ability to breastfeed. Studies also show that immediate skin-to-skin contact help newborns maintain their temperatures, normalize heart and breathing rates and reduce their likeliness of crying.
These facilities join hospitals that are already five-star designated Breastfeeding-Friendly facilities: Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center and New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
Research shows that breastfed babies have lower risk of asthma, childhood leukemia, childhood obesity, ear infections, eczema (atopic dermatitis), diarrhea and vomiting, lower respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), type 2 diabetes and necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in pre-term infants. Breastfeeding is also linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in mothers.
To learn more about Novant Health’s Baby-Friendly initiatives, visit NovantHealth.org/pregnancy.