Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH) led Chicago as it proudly achieved international recognition as a Baby-Friendly birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA, in 2012. Little Company’s renowned Family Birth Center was recently re-accredited as an elite Baby-Friendly organization. Baby-Friendly USA 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.
Currently, there are 480 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States and more than 20,000 worldwide. LCMH is one of 19 active Baby-Friendly hospital and birth center in the state of Illinois.
“We are extremely proud to receive this esteemed award and be recognized as a Baby-Friendly hospital again,” said Mary Grimm, Maternal/Child Nurse Manager at LCMH. “Little Company of Mary has long offered a safe and loving environment when delivering more than 200,000 babies. This re-accreditation further validates our mission to provide our tiniest patients with the best possible healthy start in life.”
LCMH employees three International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), along with 12 Certified Lactation Counselors. LCMH offers comprehensive education to mothers throughout the phases of pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum. Programs include breastfeeding, childbirth preparation, and infant care support. The Breastfeeding Support Group offers new moms the opportunity to meet and share experiences with other breast feeding women, and also provides guidance from an expert LCMH Lactation Consultant.
The designation followed an on-site survey involving nurses, physicians and patients. Baby-Friendly USA, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is a five-year designation maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
According to the Surgeon General’s 2011 “Call to Action,” breastfeeding protects babies from infections and illnesses that include diarrhea, ear infections, and pneumonia. Breastfed babies also are less likely to develop asthma, and those who are breastfed for six months are less likely to become obese.
“One of the best parts of Baby-Friendly is giving moms the opportunity to have skin to skin contact with their babies at delivery and beyond.” said Eileen Murphy RN, BSN, IBCLC, RLC, Baby-Friendly Co- Coordinator. “It’s a great way to welcome a new baby; providing warmth, comfort and many other benefits.”
LCMH promotes and supports breastfeeding for all patients, visitors, and employees. We strive to provide each patient with the type of delivery she desires in a secure and comforting environment. 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.