MotherBaby Network

advocacy and commentary with a focus on Lane County, Oregon

Sacred Heart to become Baby Friendly, McKenzie-Willamette exploring designation

Since posting Project Aims to Improve OR Hospital-Based Breastfeeding Services, MotherBaby Network has received a good deal of positive feedback from individuals in healthcare, elected office, local government, the insurance industry, the non-profit sector as well as from consumers. The post describes a new statewide project (Oregon Hospitals Partnering for Evidence-Based Infant Nutrition) that support hospitals in developing the evidence-based infant feeding practices associated with increased rates of breastfeeding and better health outcomes.

MotherBaby Network received the following information from Sacred Heart Medical Center and McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center regarding plans for the Baby Friendly designation at each facility. Pursuit of this designation provides facilities with a clear pathway for developing the knowledge and effective practices to properly support breastfeeding. It is a clear signal to women and families that they can have confidence in a facility’s infant feeding services.

Sacred Heart Medical Center Intends to Become a Baby Friendly Facility

Sacred Heart Medical Center will pursue the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative’s designation. An interdisciplinary group of L&D nurses, physicians of several specialties and administrators has been formed. A letter of intent to Baby Friendly will go out before July 1, 2011.

McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center Exploring Baby Friendly

McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center is exploring pursuit of the Baby Friendly status.

If both SHMC and MWMC were to become Baby Friendly, evidence-based infant-feeding would become a community standard. Hopefully, both hospitals will join the new collaborative, statewide hospital effort to support these efforts. Interested parties should contact Amelia Psmyth at or Desiree Nelson at

These latest state and local developments around breastfeeding reform occur in a national context of growing awareness and support for improving the circumstances in which women, families and communities welcome babies. Issuing the first-ever Call to Action for breastfeeding reform, Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin is the latest national figure to add her support. Describing the multiple, overlapping barriers in communities, healthcare systems and places of employment, Benjamin urges the nation to remove them so that women will no longer be forced to stop breastfeeding sooner than they want or discouraged from initiating breastfeeding. More information:

Interested in what local women and families who have used evidence-based breastfeeding services have to say? Read Lane County Friends of the Birth Center’s consumer survey.



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