San Gabriel Valley Medical Center Receives the Baby-Friendly Redesignation from World Health Organization / UNICEF

BREAKING NEWS: BreastfeedLA is pleased to announce that the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center received redesignation as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by Baby-Friendly USA! In order to achieve Baby-Friendly redesignation, the hospital demonstrated the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies and optimal infant feeding support.

The WHO and UNICEF administer the BFHI program internationally and work with the national authority in each country which confers the Baby-Friendly® designation in their nation. Currently, more than 500 hospitals/birthing centers are designated as Baby-Friendly in the United States

A maternity care facility can be designated as Baby-Friendly when they meet the requirements created by the World Health Organization and adhere to the 10 Steps of Successful Breastfeeding including helping all mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth, showing mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants, giving newborn infants only breast milk unless medically indicated, practicing rooming-in by allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day, and encouraging unrestricted breastfeeding on cue. Studies continue to demonstrate that there are many benefits to breastfeeding that extend beyond the initial first days of life.

"I am extremely proud of AHMC Healthcare and the SGVMC leadership, perinatal nursing team, physicians and ancillary departments whose commitment shown through by providing an environment, culture and teamwork that supports breastfeeding education and resources moms need to successfully initiate breastfeeding and continue after discharge. It truly took a village with partner support from BreastfeedLA and WIC!" said Carmen Rezak, former BreastfeedLA Board President and current Corporate Maternal-Child Health Quality Coordinator for AHMC Healthcare, Inc.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), launched in 1991, is an effort by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to ensure that all maternity care facilities, whether free standing or in a hospital, become centers of breastfeeding support. Since the program started, over 20,000 facilities worldwide in 150 countries have received the Baby-Friendly designation.

First 5 LA, a child advocacy and grant-making agency, committed $10.5 million to fund up to 19 hospitals in L.A. County to become Baby-Friendly, including the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center. First 5 LA funds support the training of nurses and physicians on lactation education and the 10 Steps To Successful Breastfeeding.

Congratulations to the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center for continuing to show its unwavering support for families!