DECATUR - St. Mary's Hospital in Decatur has received an important distinction. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization, has designated St. Mary's "Baby Friendly."
St. Mary's is only the fourth hospital in Illinois to earn "Baby Friendly" status.
"We want the very best for mothers and babies, " said Kevin Kast, CEO of St. Mary's Hospital. "With the Baby Friendly designation, St. Mary's Hospital demonstrates our commitment to the health of infants and mothers," Kast said.
The Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) exists to promote breastfeeding mothers before, during, and after their hospital stay. Simply stated, the program promotes the health benefits of breastfeeding between mothers and their newborn babies.
To achieve a status of "Baby Friendly," facilities must register with Baby-Friendly USA, complete all of the requirements, and ultimately demonstrate during an on-site assessment that they have correctly integrated all of the "Ten Steps of Successful Breastfeeding" into their practice for healthy newborns.
"We are very proud of the physicians and staff in our Maternal Child Care Department who worked very hard to earn this distinction," Kast said.
St. Mary's also hosts support group sessions every other Monday.
To learn more about how St. Mary's hospital provides care to mothers and babies, visit www.stmarysdecatur.com/maternalcare.