Achieving the five-year Baby-Friendly designation is no easy task, but Salem Hospital rose to the challenge. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
An international team of experts came up with a list of criteria, known as the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. If followed, those steps give mothers and babies a higher chance for breastfeeding success.
Baby-Friendly is not about deciding for parents how they should feed their babies. It’s about making sure parents have the education they need to make an informed decision about their baby.
When mothers deliver at Salem Hospital, they will experience a supportive environment for breastfeeding success.
The hospital’s team of lactation consultants are also available for both inpatient and outpatient support. Lactation support is available seven days a week — and at least two lactation consultants are on duty (8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends).
Mothers continue to receive assistance in the weeks and months after they leave the hospital to ensure they have long-term success with breastfeeding. Salem Health offers a wide array of education and support opportunities.
A free support group meets three days a week at Salem Hospital — plus once a week at West Valley Hospital — and is run by the hospital lactation staff. Mothers who do not deliver at Salem Health facilities are also welcome to attend.
Joelynn J. gave birth to her daughter at Salem Hospital and shared her experience: