Hospital Backs Breastfeeders
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have a special name for hospitals that create an optimal environment for breastfeeding and mother/infant bonding: baby-friendly. Petaluma Valley Hospital (PVH) in Petaluma has just been welcomed to the fold. In order to earn the Baby-friendly Hospital distinction, institutions must implement WHO’s “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” which include having a breastfeeding policy, helping mothers initiate breastfeeding one hour after birth, and allowing mothers and babies to remain together 24 hours a day. Besides meeting these criteria, a hospital must also implement the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, which prohibits the marketing of formula to new mothers, either through media or free samples. PVH is the only hospital in Sonoma County to receive the baby-friendly designation. To learn more about the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative, see babyfriendlyusa.org.