TALLAHASSEE—Florida Department of Health’s Healthiest Weight Florida Initiative is supporting hospitals that are taking steps to enhance maternity care practices in support of breastfeeding statewide. This project promotes hospital recognition through the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition’s Quest for Quality Maternity Care Award.
“Hospitals play an important role in ensuring mothers have the information, support and skills to make an informed decision when it comes to breastfeeding,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “With the dedicated leadership of our hospitals and birthing facilities, Florida will continue to make progress on this important health choice.”
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing facilities that offer the finest care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and the Quest for Quality Maternity Care Award recognizes birthing facilities that successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
With support from the department, 27 hospitals in 15 Florida counties received $10,000 mini-grants to obtain the training and technical assistance needed to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding Program. The counties participating in this project include:
- Palm Beach
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mothers who breastfeed their children are at a healthier weight on average than those who do not. They also have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer. Children who are breastfed have a lower risk for developing respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, asthma, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
To learn more about the department’s efforts to support the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative visit www.healthiestweightflorida.com/activities/baby-steps.html.
For more information on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org/about-us.
For more information on the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition’s Quality Maternity Care Initiative, visit www.flbreastfeeding.org/hospital.htm