On May 19, 2006, Central Maine Medical Center was the 53rd hospital to receive the Baby Friendly USA Designation, Inc.
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a worldwide program sponsored by the United Nations Children Fund and the World Health Organization to promote, support and protect breastfeeding as the best preventative health practice mothers can do for their babies. Baby Friendly Designated health care facilities are the ones which have adopted these standards and changed the way they care for pregnant women and new mothers.
The Baby Friendly initiative believes that all hospitals and health centers should provide this high standard of care for mothers and babies and therefore asks them to adopt recognized best practice standards in support of breastfeeding. The goal for the health professionals is to help all parents have the support they need to make informed decisions about feeding and caring for their babies.
The Baby-Friendly Designation process requires verification of policies and curriculum, action plans, and quality improvement projects, staff training, and competency verification as well as a readiness interview prior to the on-site survey which is conducted after the hospital or birthing center indicates its readiness for assessment. Only after the facility has passed this assessment does it receive the designation of being a Baby-Friendly Hospital.
The Baby Friendly Designation, Inc. lasts for 5 years. At the end of the five year period, facilities will receive another on-site assessment in order to be re-designated for an additional 5 year period of time. However, in order to assure that facilities are maintaining the high standard of care that the Baby-Friendly designation represents, they must undertake annual Quality Assurance/Improvement projects assigned by Baby-Friendly USA.
Central Maine Medical Center and the staff of the Maternal/Child Groups are working towards re designation for 2011. The teams from Maternity, Nursery, NICU, OB/GYN Practice, Pediatric Practice and many others are committed to maintaining high standards in the best preventative health practice for the mothers and babies cared for at CMMC!