The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Georgia SHAPE are pleased to announce that seven Georgia hospitals have successfully completed the second level of training to become Baby-Friendly 5-STAR hospitals. These hospitals promote and support breastfeeding with policies and practices, staff education and post-discharge community referrals.
At last week’s Board of Public Health meeting in Atlanta, representatives from seven hospitals were commended by Board members. Each of the hospitals received recogntion for their efforts in becoming a baby-friendly hospital. They are working toward implementing The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, as defined by Baby-Friendly USA, the official credentialing agency of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
The hospitals recognized last week are Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Midtown Medical Center in Columbus, and Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon.
There is mounting evidence that babies who are exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months of life have a much lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. Georgia currently ranks 43rd in the U.S. for breastfeeding care delivered in maternity facilities.
“Increasing breastfeeding rates in Georgia is critical to reducing obesity rates,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Health. “With one in five of our precious children in Georgia classified as obese, our efforts must focus on the very beginning of these new lives.”