Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital. Photo: Tarmo Hannula.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital announced that it has achieved the “highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States,” says a press release from the Hollister hospital.

The honor demonstrates that HHMH is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies, says the press release. These standards are built on the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.

“The hospital experience strongly influences a mother’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding,” said Jana Tomasini, RN, Board Certified Lactation Consultant. “We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation to ensure that mothers delivering in our facility who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported.”

As the project leader, Tomasini spearheaded a team of HHMH patient care, ancillary and support services departments, clinic providers and hospital physicians, private pediatrician offices, San Benito County Public Health Department, First Five and Healthy Mothers Health Babies, says the press release.  

“It is extremely rare for hospitals to pass the review process on their first application and we had an incredible team that helped us to achieve this goal,” Tomasini said. 

The Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation Board also believes in the importance of this certification and allocated more than $29,000 in funding to get the program started, achieve milestones and complete the certification process.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized for the hard work of our team members throughout the Baby-Friendly process,” said Mary Casillas, CEO of HHMH. “Hazel Hawkins Hospital is committed to providing the support, education and resources moms need to successfully initiate breastfeeding and continue breastfeeding when they leave our care.”

HHMH joins the short list of only 566 hospitals (or 9% of the hospitals in the United States), to achieve the designation, according to the hospital. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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