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San Antonio Community Hospital (SACH) has been designated as "Baby-Friendly" by Baby-Friendly USA. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative recognizes model hospitals that provide an optimal level of care and information to promote breastfeeding for new moms. Currently there are only 65 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States.
“There are a lot of health benefits to breastfeeding that increase the longer the mother breastfeeds,” said Jeri Cocas, RN, an internationally board-certified lactation expert in SACH’s Maternity Center. “We want to make sure moms get off to a great start in our hospital and continue to breastfeed when they go home for as long as they would like, hopefully exclusively for the first six months, and through the first year with solids added.”
SACH’s Maternity Center is committed to providing breastfeeding support and education for mothers beginning prenatally, and continuing through the birth, during their hospitalization and after discharge for as long as the mother desires. The award-winning maternity staff includes numerous internationally board-certified lactation consultants and certified lactation educators.
“Breastmilk is the best food for babies for optimum growth and development,” Cocas points out. “It provides immune protection for the baby and helps reduce respiratory and ear infections, diarrhea, type II diabetes, childhood leukemia and lymphoma. It also reduces mom’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer.”
Baby-Friendly USA is the authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. Baby-Friendly designation is given only after a rigorous on-site survey.