Intermountain Health facilities recognized as breastfeeding-friendly by state
All 21 Intermountain Health hospitals in Utah have received a five-star rating from the state for being breastfeeding-friendly facilities.
The Utah Department of Health and Human Services issued the ratings to hospitals with labor and delivery departments for completing all 10 requirements of the “Stepping Up for Utah Babies” program.
Some of the Intermountain Health hospitals receiving the five-star rating include Utah Valley and Orem Community hospitals.
“Earning the five-star breastfeeding-friendly rating from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, signifies our caregivers are both competent and comfortable providing evidence-based education and valuable tools and resources to help families be successful in feeding their infants,” said Tiffany Hanson, executive nursing director for obstetric and neonatal operations at Intermountain Health, in a news release. “The nurse managers at Intermountain hospitals partner together and share best practices with each other and implement ideas to help increase breastfeeding support for new moms.”
The best practices include allowing mothers to be with their newborn 24 hours a day in the hospital, encouraging mothers to hold their new baby skin-to-skin immediately following delivery, training staff to support mothers on their feeding choices, breastfeeding on demand, teaching infant feeding cues and reducing formula supplementation at the hospital with the exception of medical conditions.
According to Intermountain Health, earning a five-star rating usually takes years. The 10 steps of the program are evidence-based maternity care practices demonstrating optimal support of breastfeeding in addition to improved experiences and outcomes for those choosing non-breastfeeding options.
According to the state health department, research has shown breast milk to be the best food for infants. Breastfeeding is also associated with decreased risk for infant morbidity and mortality. Breastfeeding moms have also been shown to have lower incidences of breast and ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes and postpartum depression.
“We are so thankful for Intermountain Health’s dedication to the ‘Stepping Up for Utah Babies’ program,” said Megan Tippetts, health promotion coordinator for the maternal and infant health program at the state health department. “Each facility worked hard to promote and support breastfeeding and their recognition is well deserved. Their work has positively impacted the lives of countless families throughout Utah.”
If new moms have additional questions about breastfeeding when they go home from the hospital, they can make an appointment for further education by calling 801-387-4010.