DISCLAIMER: It’s important to note that the posts in this page are NOT intended to be a medical reference or to replace professional care during pregnancy, labor, or birth.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Baby Friendly Hospitals

Want to have efficient support for breastfeeding right from the first moments of your precious little one is born? If you're planning to have a hospital birth, I suggest you do so in a Baby Friendly Hospital.
What is a Baby Friendly Hospital?

According to standards set by Unicef and the World Health Organisation, hospitals must fulfill ten criteras to gain baby-friendly accreditation. They must:
  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all healthcare staff.
  • Train all healthcare staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth.
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infant.
  • Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, not even sips of water, unless medically indicated.
  • Practice rooming in. This means keeping mothers and their babies together at all times.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • Give no artificial teats or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic. Unicef
Only hospitals that fully comply with these criteria will be certified as baby friendly hospitals. In 1998, Malaysia was the third country in the world, after Sweden and Oman, to have all its government hospitals certified baby-friendly. A number of private hospitals in Malaysia have also been awarded the baby-friendly hospital status and more are preparing for this accreditation process.

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