Baby Friendly Hospital (Research Paper)
Giving birth is a very special moment in life, and even with it being so great it is also very scary for both mother and baby. It is the first breaths your baby will take in the world and the mother has to be accountable for giving the baby all that it needs. A hospital that truly puts the needs of the baby and mother first would be the best thing. A baby friendly hospital that allows an easy transition for the baby to enter the world is great and should be supported and implemented more. Giving the mother a real chance to connect with her baby in a comfortable setting that is safe and protected for both mother and baby. Allowing the mother and baby to begin the first steps of life and focusing on a connection through breastfeeding.
Starting the hospital almost directly after birth the mother is given their baby and gets to build a bond with their newborn by laying the baby on the mother’s chest, allowing for the baby and mother to essentially become in sync, it also gives the baby the opportunity to find the mothers nipple early and adapt to breastfeeding. This is known as “skin to skin,” and is one of the many things that baby friendly hospitals provide to their patients and the new families. The hospitals provide lactation consultants, nurses that won't interfere with the bonding process, and a true opportunity for the baby to get comfortable with their new parents. A baby friendly hospital doesn't just help while the mother is still in the hospital, they provide help with breastfeeding/lactation, at home, in the community, and at the workplace. The hospitals also include a ten step standard for their care requirements that really promote breastfeeding and the ability to make that connection with the baby through breastfeeding. The ten steps are:
“Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.” (babyfriendlyusa.org)
After my research on the website and the initiative, I believe that the baby friendly hospital is probably the best in order to start breastfeeding and connect the baby with their parents. I was a little on the fence because I was nervous when hearing that the hospital doesn't necessarily do all the health checks right away, which seemed odd to me, but they have individualized care that can provide the help that is needed if there are any complications or babies at risk. The main concern during and directly after childbirth should be the health and safety of mother and baby, and with all of the information, studies, and research done by the baby friendly organization they allow for parents to make the choice and have some very solid information. I think it is ultimately a choice by the mothers as well, and that is a main reason as to why I support baby friendly hospitals because mothers have the choice to choose a different hospital if they don't agree with the policies of the hospitals. The opportunities that baby friendly hospitals present are very helpful and progressive for mothers to start breastfeeding, and connecting with their child in the first moments of their life.
“Friendly USA ~ 10 Steps & International Code.” Baby, 13 June 2019, www.babyfriendlyusa.org/for-facilities/practice-guidelines/10-steps-and-international-code/.
“Friendly USA ~ About.” Baby, 13 Dec. 2019, www.babyfriendlyusa.org/about/.
“Friendly USA ~ Common Misunderstandings.” Baby, 9 Dec. 2019, www.babyfriendlyusa.org/about/common-misunderstandings/