Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Grey Bruce Health Services Awarded Baby-Friendly Designation

Staff

babyfriendlyGrey Bruce Health Services has announced that the Owen Sound Regional Hospital is now officially recognized as Baby-Friendly, making it the fourth in the province and the first in the SWLHIN to receive this designation.

The Baby-Friendly Initiative is a global program launched by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Official designation involves successful compliance with ten steps aimed at ensuring all levels of the organization promote and support a baby-friendly environment, with an emphasize on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six month of an infant’s life, and for two years and beyond with complementary feedings. As of 2014, there were only three Ontario hospitals who have successfully achieved this designation.

Staff in our Women and Child Care Unit and beyond have worked hard to create a culture that protects, promotes, and supports breastfeeding, which evidence indicates will lead to healthier children, and in the long run, healthier communities,” said Lance Thurston, President and CEO of GBHS.

The Baby-Friendly Initiative includes support for all infants and families regardless of feeding choice. Families who choose not to breastfeed receive education on feeding cues, baby care, and formula preparation, along with information on many other topics.

Part of the baby-friendly designation includes encouraging families to initiate skin-to-skin care immediately after birth, with the unclothed baby placed against mother or another caregiver’s chest. Skin-to-skin contact has many health benefits for babies and mothers, not the least of which is the ability to create early bonding opportunities for new families. Babies born at GBHS get the amazing benefit of skin-to-skin contact, even when born via Caesarian section.

Approximately 750 babies are born every year at the Owen Sound Hospital. For details on the Women & Child Care Unit, visit http://www.gbhs.on.ca/programs.php?pgid=161

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