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Riverside Community Hospital Receives Prestigious International Award as a Baby-Friendly® Birth Facility

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RIVERSIDE - Riverside Community Hospital announces that it has received the prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly® birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA. The national authority for Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, Baby-Friendly USA, recognizes hospitals that provide a high level of care and that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

The designation was awarded after an on-site survey involving nurses and physicians. Baby-Friendly, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, is a five-year designation maintained by continuing to practice the “Ten Steps to Successful Breast-feeding for Hospitals.” The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Riverside Community Hospital is now one out of 143 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States and the first HCA hospital to achieve this designation. Riverside Community Hospital supports breast-feeding through The Ten Steps to Successful Breast-feeding for Hospitals, as outlined by UNICEF and WHO. The steps include following a policy that is routinely communicated, educating expectant mothers about breast-feeding, helping initiate breast-feeding within one hour of birth and teaching women how to maintain lactation. The Ten Steps encourage breastfeeding on demand and “rooming in” – to allow mothers and babies to remain together, as well as referring mothers to breast-feeding support upon discharge. Unless medically indicated, no food, drink (other than breast milk) or artificial nipples are to be given to breast-feeding infants.

Over the years, scientific studies have shown that breastfeeding can have significant health benefits for both the newborn and the mother, including a reduced risk of certain acute and chronic diseases. For more information on breastfeeding, go to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website.

“Our attainment of baby friendly status shows the dedication of our physicians and maternal child staff to provide evidence based, highest quality standard of care for our community. It makes me so proud to be the Director of Women’s and Children’s Services here at RCH and to work with this great team!”, said Debra Otwell, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services. The Mother Baby Unit at Riverside Community Hospital has offered the Inland Empire the very best maternal-newborn care for over 110 years. Our hospital offers free comprehensive education to mothers throughout the phases of pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum including breastfeeding, childbirth preparation, and infant care support. Riverside Community Hospital is a proud partner with First 5 Riverside and March of Dimes to provide our mothers with valuable resources for the overall well-being and health of both mother and baby.

To learn more about the maternity services provided at Riverside Community Hospital, visit www.riversidecommunityhospital.com or call 951.788.3463. For further information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org.

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