Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH) has received the prestigious honor of being internationally recognized as a Baby-Friendly birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA. There are 150 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States and 20,000 worldwide. LCMH is the third Baby-Friendly hospital and birth center in the state of Illinois and the first hospital in the Chicagoland area to achieve this designation.
“We are extremely proud to be the first Baby-Friendly hospital in the Chicagoland area.” said Mary Grimm, manager of Little Company of Mary’s Family Birth Center. “Little Company of Mary has long offered a safe and loving environment delivering more than 200,000 babies into the world exceeding all other hospitals in the Southwest Chicago area. This accreditation further validates our mission to provide our newborns with the best possible healthy start in life. A special thank you to our physicians, staff, moms, babies and their families, especially those who participated in the Baby Friendly audit interviews.”
Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based, maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding outcomes and mother/baby bonding. It compels our hospital to examine, challenge and modify longstanding policies and procedures. It requires training and skill building among all levels of staff. It entails implementing audit processes to assure quality in all aspects of maternity care operations and can ultimately enhance patient satisfaction and improve health outcomes.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes and awards birthing facilities who successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (i) and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (ii). The BFHI assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.
Education and support are available prenatally and postnatal. LCMH offers comprehensive education to mothers throughout the phases of pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum. Programs include breastfeeding, childbirth preparation, and infant care support. Our lactation team consists of three International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants and fourteen staff members who are Certified Lactation Counselors.
If you are pregnant or planning the start of your family and would like a private tour of our new Family Birth Center visit our website at www.lcmh.org. To learn more about breastfeeding and Little Company of Mary’s free Breastfeeding Support Group, contact Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Lactation Office at 708.229.5418.