CMHS Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7

Congratulations to all breastfeeding mothers in Ventura County! You are giving your babies their best food and helping them to grow up healthy. Community Memorial Health System salutes you this week especially, during World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, an event celebrated worldwide every year in over 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.

Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura is proud to be recognized as a “Baby-Friendly” birth facility!

Community Memorial Hospital is Officially “Baby-Friendly”

Community Memorial Health System (CMHS) is proud to support this effort and is dedicated to ensuring that moms here in Ventura County have the resources and guidance they need to breastfeed successfully. In fact, Baby-Friendly USA has recognized Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Ventura with the prestigious international recognition as a Designated Baby-Friendly birth facility, a designation given only to hospitals and birth centers that meet rigorous criteria to encourage breastfeeding. Based in Albany, New York, Baby-Friendly USA, Inc is the nation’s premier authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer high level care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Community Memorial’s designation is for five years, and CMH is audited annually to check for continued compliance. CMH just completed its first annual audit and is pleased to announce that it passed! CMH worked for over two years through various hospital committees to meet all the criteria and create a breastfeeding-friendly environment, and remains committed to these practices.

The Baby-Friendly award is based on the “Ten Steps To Successful Breastfeeding,” a challenging set of criteria that sets the standards for the best possible breastfeeding support for mothers and infants in the maternity setting. CMH has met all of the 10 steps, which are:

  1. Having a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Training the staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Informing all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Showing moms how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Giving infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practicing “rooming in” or allowing the moms and their infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encouraging breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Hosting breastfeeding support groups and referring mothers to them on discharge from the hospital.

CMHS also supports new moms and breastfeeding mothers by offering a variety of classes at the New Parent Resource Center to prepare new parents for delivery and parenthood; offering prenatal care with an obstetrician at the Centers for Family Health; and offering unlimited free lactation consultations to moms who deliver at CMH, with an international board-certified lactation consultant, for up to one year after delivery.

From pregnancy to parenting, the CMHS New Parent Resource Center offers new moms and families a number of support resources.

CMH’s Maternal Child Health team is equally proud to be recognized by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) which once again last year recognized CMH for excellence in lactation care by awarding CMH with their IBCLC Care Award for 2018-2020. CMH has received this two-year award many times previously since it was established and CMH is the ONLY hospital in Ventura County and one of just nine hospitals in California to receive this prestigious award! The IBCLC Care Award is given only to those medical practices, clinics, agencies or hospitals that staff professionals who hold the prestigious International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) certification and provide a lactation program for breastfeeding families, among other requirements that promote top lactation care.

Visit the CMH New Parent Resource Center

The New Parent Resource Center is located at 2580 E. Main St. in Suite 101. Parking is available on San Nicholas Street. If you have any questions, please call 805-658-2229 (BABY), visit www.cmhshealth.org\mch or email newparentresourcecenter@cmhshealth.org.