Durham Regional Hospital has been designated “breastfeeding friendly” by the North Carolina Maternity Center (NCMC) and has received a Golden Bow Award from the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).
Durham Regional has earned three stars from the NCMC, part of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, for its efforts in implementing policies and practices that support a breastfeeding-friendly environment for patients. The designation is based on the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These steps support initiation, exclusivity and continuation of breastfeeding. Participating facilities in North Carolina earn a star for every two steps implemented.
Durham Regional has also received the WABA Golden Bow Award that recognizes hospitals and birthing centers who have committed to stop distributing infant formula companies’ bags and related materials. In order to earn a Golden Bow Award, maternity facilities must demonstrate that no commercial infant formula gift bags are distributed, all gifts to maternity patients are free of infant formula advertising of all varieties and a 24-hour supply of infant formula is given at discharge only if it is left over formula from the baby’s cart and/or is medically indicated by the infant’s healthcare provider.
Durham Regional Hospital helps women get breastfeeding off to a good start by adapting baby-friendly policies like helping mothers initiate breastfeeding after birth, allowing mothers and babies to stay in the same room and ensuring infant feeding decisions are free of commercial influence.
“When hospitals provide formula starter packs, it sends moms mixed messages about their ability to provide the nutrition for their baby,” says Tammie Gullie, RN, IBCLC, lactation consultant at Durham Regional Hospital. “Breast milk is absolutely the best source of nutrition for their baby, not to mention all the health benefits for mom and baby that breastfeeding supports.”
According to the North Carolina Breast Feeding Coalition, giving out gift bags with formula samples in them decreases the initiation, duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding. Mothers also give up on breastfeeding and switch to formula more quickly.
“Over the past two years we have been working on initiatives to promote, support and protect breastfeeding,” says Gullie “We are educating and supporting moms to help them make informed choices about how they choose to feed their baby.”