Kittitas Valley Healthcare has been recognized for promoting breastfeeding to help get newborns off to a healthy start. KVH recently received the Breastfeeding Friendly Washington Bronze recognition level from the Washington State Department of Health.
“Babies are more likely to maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives if they breastfeed for at least six months,” said state Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “Hospitals that encourage and support breastfeeding are helping raise the healthiest next generation.”
Hospitals that participate in the Breastfeeding Friendly Washington program do so voluntarily. They are eligible to receive recognition after completing steps to support breastfeeding.
To earn the Bronze Level recognition, KVH Hospital:
- Has a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all healthcare staff.
- Places babies skin-to-skin with their mothers within 60 minutes after birth and help mothers recognize and respond to feeding cues.
- Practices rooming-in to allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Has an established system for referring mothers to outpatient and community support.
Kye Gibb of Ellensburg recently delivered her fourth child at KVH Hospital. “I felt that KVH was very supportive of my choice to breastfeed my baby,” Gibb said. “It was comforting to know that the birthing center staff would be there to help me if I needed it.”
While a Bronze recognition is commendable, the Family Birthing Center at KVH Hospital plans to continue to advance their staff training and practices surrounding breastfeeding so the center can earn Silver or Gold certification.