Indiana University Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette is pursuing an accreditation allowing it to be Baby-Friendly. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a program supporting breast feeding, and its health benefits for the baby and mother.
The program is operated by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund.
"It's supporting the mother and her baby, and the mother's choices for nutrition. And ensuring that we support that bonding effort and support the mom and the baby in everything that they chose to do," said IU Health Arnett Manager of Mother-Baby Pediatrics, Teresa Criswell.
Criswell said the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is research-based to provide the best practices.
"We lead them with evidence based practice, versus what past generations have done," said Criswell.
"We give them evidence-based information so that they may make an informed decision," said IU Health Arnett Lactation Consultant, Jeni Leaird.
Leaird said the hospital becoming Baby-Friendly has been on her mind for the past five years. She said the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative shows positive feedback from other IU Hospitals across Indiana. Leaird said IU Health Arnett Hospital will be the first to receive the accreditation in the Lafayette area.
"The evidence shows that parents tend to be happier with delivering in a Baby-Friendly Hospital," said Leaird.
However, becoming Baby-Friendly won't happen overnight. Leaird said they've completed the first phase...and now on the development stage. She said there's still a long way to go.
"The (total) process typically takes about five years. We are looking at all our policies. We're looking at our procedures, how we work. What we present to moms," said Leaird.
Criswell said there will be a lot of noticeable changes as they become Baby-Friendly.
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