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Published on November 07, 2016

Valley West Hospital Receives Prestigious International Award Designated as Baby-Friendly

November 7, 2016

Mom kissing her baby's feetSANDWICH, Ill. – Valley West Hospital, part of Northwestern Medicine, has received the prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility by Baby-Friendly U.S.A., Inc. The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this designation recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

Baby-Friendly U.S.A., Inc., is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“This was an amazing quality initiative project. Our staff worked diligently on implementing the ten steps into our daily practice. Our patients and families have been so receptive and supportive to the initiative. The Baby Friendly Designation status has provided a wonderful opportunity that offers so many benefits and magnifies our commitment of quality care for our patients,” said Nurse Manager Melissa Hilt, RN, Valley West Hospital Maternity Suites.

Valley West Hospital is one of only 13 hospitals in Illinois with this designation. Currently there are 377 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. The Baby-Friendly designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as demonstrated by quality processes. Kishwaukee Hospital, who received designation earlier this summer and Valley West Hospital have been working toward this designation for almost four years.

To learn more about the KishHealth System Maternity Suites department, the Breastfeeding Center, and the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative at Kishwaukee and Valley West Hospitals, part of Northwestern Medicine, please visit www.kishmaternitysuites.org or www.nm.org.

Further information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative may be obtained by contacting Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., at 518.621.7982, info@babyfriendlyusa.org or by visiting www.babyfriendlyusa.org.

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