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HealthConnect for Women & Children

Baby-Friendly Hospital

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have certified Tacoma General Hospital as a Baby-Friendly Hospital.™ This prestigious international award recognizes hospitals and birth centers that offer an optimal level of support for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Tacoma General is proud to be one of the hospitals and birth centers in the US that receive certification. Tacoma General supports breastfeeding mothers with:

What Does Baby-Friendly Mean?

The Baby-Friendly certification is awarded based on strict independent evaluation. Sponsors conduct an ongoing review of the facility and evaluate its commitment to offering mothers and mothers-to-be the information, confidence, and skill needed to successfully begin and continue breastfeeding. The facility must also follow the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding:
  1. Maintain a written breastfeeding policy that is communicated with all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers begin breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infant(s).
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice “rooming in” – allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage unrestricted breastfeeding.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants (premature infants are exceptions).
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Click here for more information about the Baby-Friendly Hospitals™.