LVH–Cedar Crest Earns Baby-Friendly Designation
Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest has met the criteria to be designated a “baby-friendly” hospital and birthing center by Baby-Friendly USA and the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a program that’s been supported internationally by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) since 1991.
LVH–Cedar Crest is one of 447 hospitals and birthing centers across the country and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to hold a baby-friendly designation. The designation is awarded to health facilities that are dedicated to improving the care of pregnant women, mothers and newborns by promoting and supporting the breastfeeding of babies as the best start in life. Clinical evidence has indicated both long- and short-term health benefits for lactating women and their newborns.
“Being named a WHO Baby-Friendly Hospital continues our legacy as a provider of quality health care,” says Mary Bianchi, LVHN Vice President, Women and Children’s Service Line. “We provide support and education for all women so they understand the unique benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding. No matter what feeding method a woman chooses, we will respect her choice.”
The goal of WHO and UNICEF is to increase the proportion of live births that occur in health facilities worldwide that provide care for lactating mothers and their babies. Almost 870,000 births occur annually at baby-friendly facilities in the U.S. There were 4,500 births at LVH–Cedar Crest over the 2017 fiscal year. On a typical day, there is an average of 50 mothers and babies on the mother-baby unit.