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Baby-Friendly Hospital Designation

The Family Birth Place at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast is on the pathway to a Baby-Friendly designation, a highly coveted breastfeeding support award that recognizes a birthing centerís family-centered approach to maternity care, as well as breastfeeding support and education available. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Childrenís Fund in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers who have successfully implemented the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global effort to implement practices that protect and promote breastfeeding.

To date, only 183 U.S. hospitals and birthing centers have earned the Baby-Friendly designation, including the Sacred Heart Maternity and Women's Center in Pensacola, FL, which was the ninth hospital in the state to receive the designation. In order to achieve the status, each hospital must verify that it has implemented the American Academy of Pediatrics-endorsed Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding program. Hospitals with the designation eliminate the distribution of commercially sponsored discharge bags with formula samples to new mothers in its maternity unit. Research shows that mothers who receive formula discharge bags from hospitals are less likely to breastfeed exclusively, and if they do breastfeed, they are more likely to do so for shorter durations.

Learn more about what to expect during your hospital stay.

Lactation Consultants and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be one of the most enjoyable and special experiences for a new mother, and the health benefits for both mother and baby are significant. Breast milk is the perfect food for a baby as it contains everything a baby needs to thrive, including water, proteins, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and antibodies that protect your babyís health.

Read more about the benefits of breastfeeding.

While breastfeeding is very natural, it is also a learned skill for a new mother and her baby, which is why mothers often have questions about the process. Our dedicated lactation consultant and our highly-trained nursing staff can provide lactation support 24-hours a day to provide you with helpful information and recommended techniques to make breastfeeding easier for you and your baby. Breastfeeding classes and support groups are also available at the Family Birth Place.

Learn more about ways we're supporting your breastfeeding journey at the Family Birth Place.

Other Resources

Sacred Heart has prepared the following items to help you prepare for the birth of your baby:

More Info
10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Benefits
Childbirth Plan
Contact the FBP
Great Expectations Booklet
Packing Checklist
SHHS Health Library Pregnancy Resource Center
Upcoming Education Classes
What to Expect



Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast | 7800 U.S. Hwy. 98 West; Miramar Beach, FL 32550 | Tel (850) 278-3000 | Toll Free 1-866-591-3600
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