Aspirus Stevens Point ‘Baby-Friendly’
FOR THE GAZETTE
STEVENS POINT — Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital has once again attained international recognition for its “Baby-Friendly” birth center.
The hospital recently earned “Baby-Friendly” redesignation for achieving the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The designation is awarded by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
“The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birth centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies,” said Beth Sekerka, VP-Chief Nursing Officer with Aspirus Health’s Southeast Division.
“Our team is proud to be recognized for the exceptional care and support we provide to women and newborns,” said Sekerka. “The Baby-Friendly designation represents our commitment to ensuring that every woman who delivers her baby at Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital receives the resources, information, and support needed to help her and her baby get the best, healthiest start.”
The positive health effects of breastfeeding are documented and recognized, with the Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stating, “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”
The Baby-Friendly designation is based on an onsite survey that verifies the facility’s practice of the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.” Recommended by WHO and UNICEF, the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” encourages a culture supportive of breastfeeding that starts prior to delivery and continues through a baby’s precious early months of life.