Greenville Health System’s (GHS) Greer Memorial Hospital has been designated a baby-friendly birthing facility by Baby-Friendly USA, joining an elite list of U.S. hospitals and birthing facilities earning this designation through the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that maintain an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies, offering them the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding. The initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
In order to receive this designation, the birth facility must meet a list of criteria based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a globally-recognized practice standard. These criteria include having a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff; training all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy; informing all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding; helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth; showing mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants; giving newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated; practicing “rooming in,” allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day; encouraging breastfeeding on demand; giving no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants and fostering the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and referring mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
“We are honored to have received this designation for our work in caring for mothers and newborns in the Greer community,” said Bonne Johnson, chief nursing officer at Greer Memorial Hospital. “Breastfeeding is a key practice that improves the health of mothers and newborns, and our goal is to ensure that the mothers we care for understand the best ways to nurture healthy relationships with their babies.”
Greer Memorial Hospital is one of three GHS hospitals designated Baby-Friendly. Greenville Memorial Hospital and Oconee Memorial Hospital have also earned the designation.
About Greenville Health System
Greenville Health System (GHS) — an academic health system that is the largest not-for-profit healthcare delivery system in South Carolina — is committed to medical excellence through research, patient care and education. GHS offers patients an innovative network of clinical integration, expertise and technologies through its eight medical campuses, tertiary medical center, research and education facilities, community hospitals, physician practices and numerous specialty services throughout the Upstate. The 1,358-bed system is home to 15 medical residency and fellowship programs. GHS is also home to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, a joint effort of USC and GHS. Visit ghs.org for more information.