All Intermountain Healthcare facilities along the Wasatch Front in Utah have earned the Five-Star Breastfeeding friendly rating

All Intermountain Healthcare hospitals along the Wasatch Front received a five-star rating from the Utah Department of Health as breastfeeding-friendly facilities for completing all ten steps of the department’s Stepping Up for Utah Babies program.

The state health program recognizes Utah hospitals that have taken steps to promote, protect, educate, and promote breastfeeding in their facilities.

It usually takes years to earn a five-star rating. The ten steps of the Stepping Up for Utah Babies program are evidence-based maternity care practices that demonstrate optimal breastfeeding support and improved nursing experiences and outcomes for non-breastfeeding mothers and families.

Opened less than three years ago, Intermountain Layton Hospital recently received a 5-star rating.

The list of 5-star breastfeeding-friendly hospitals includes these 15 intermountain hospitals: Alta View in Sandy, American Fork, Cedar City, Heber Valley, Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Layton, LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Logan Regional, McKay- Dee in Ogden, Orem Community, Park City, Riverton, Sanpete in Mt. Pleasant, St. George Regional, and the Utah Valley in Provo.

“Our Layton Hospital maternal and baby carers and lactation team have worked tirelessly since the hospital opened to earn this award, which means our caregivers are both knowledgeable, comfortable, and provide evidence-based education and valuable tools and resources to help families succeed in feeding their infants, ”said Danice Lewis, MHA, BSA, RN, Nurse Manager for the Mother-Child Unit and Level 2 NICU at Layton Hospital.

Nurses at all Intermountain hospitals work together, sharing best practices and implementing ideas to improve breastfeeding support for young mothers.

These include hospital practices such as: encouraging mothers to hold their new baby on their skin immediately after birth; Allow mothers and babies to stay together in hospital 24 hours a day; Training staff to assist with nutritional decisions of all new mothers; Promoting breastfeeding as needed; Teaching infant nutrition advice; and reducing dietary supplements unless medically indicated, to name a few.

“Our caregivers provide personalized attention so that every mother can enjoy skin-to-skin contact with her baby to foster bonding, especially in the first golden hour after birth,” said Holly Hill, BSN, RN, IBCLC, Nurse and Lactation Manager at Layton Hospital. “We teach mothers how to breastfeed, handpump and / or use a breast pump, provide a list of community lactation resources, and talk about what to expect when they go home.”

“When mothers go home with their babies, they often have additional questions about breastfeeding. You can schedule an appointment at Layton Hospital for further breastfeeding training in a dedicated ambulatory breastfeeding consultation room, ”added Hill.

Outpatient breastfeeding services in the hospital are available to women regardless of where they gave birth to their baby. Breastfeeding mothers who need additional assistance after returning home can consult the community’s resource list to schedule a visit to a certified lactation consultant nearby, or to call your baby’s doctor or Intermountain at 801-387-4010.

The research and evidence is clear, breast milk is the best food for infants and breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of infant morbidity and mortality. It has also been shown that breastfeeding mothers are less likely to have breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. For more information, see the State Health Program website.

The state program is based on the international Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative, which was launched in the 1990s by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

To learn more about Intermountain’s virtual breastfeeding course, click here.

A full list of hospitals working towards the 5-star rating for breastfeeding-friendliness can be found here.

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