Baby-Friendly Hospitals and Birthing Centers

Mothers who give birth at baby-friendly hospitals and birthing centers are more likely to exclusively breastfeed their babies and accomplish their personal breastfeeding goals. What does the term “baby-friendly” actually mean? What are the 10 steps that need to be completed in order to receive this important distinction? And what type of care can you expect to receive when delivering at one of these facilities?

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Episode Transcript

Preggie Pals
Baby-Friendly Hospitals and Birthing Centers

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.


[Theme Music]

Sunny Gault : Mothers who give birth in baby-friendly hospitals and birthing centers are more likely to exclusively breastfeed their babies, and accomplish their personal breastfeeding goals. What does it mean to be baby-friendly? And why is this distinction so important for you when choosing where to deliver your baby? This is Preggie Pals, episode 52.

[Theme Music/Intro]

Sunny Gault : Welcome to Preggie Pals, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Preggie Pals is your weekly online on the go support group for expecting parents, and those hoping to become pregnant. I'm your host, Sunny Gault. Have you joined our Preggie Palls Club? Our members get access to all of our archived episodes, bonus content after each new show, plus special giveaways and discounts. Our club members even get a one year free subscription to Pregnancy Magazine. Visit our website,, to sign up. That's also where you can subscribe to our free monthly newsletter. Each month, we'll select one lucky subscriber for a free one month subscription to our Preggie Pals Club, and you could be next.

[Theme Music] [Featured Segment: Ask the Experts]


Sunny Gault : Alright, we have a question from one of our listeners, this comes from Michelle, she lives in Los Angelos, and this is for doctor Daneshmand, our perinatologist. She says, “My sister recently gave birth to a baby girl at 30 weeks. The baby seems to be doing fine, but her sister and brother-in-law are having tough time watching her baby go through this, obviously, the baby is still developing. Do you have any thoughts on what they, as a family, could do to support the mom and dad?”

Sean Daneshmand : That's a great question. I think this is one of those topics that made me want to start Miracle Babies. There are many families that unfortunately are suffering, there are more than half a million babies that are born prematurely each year here in the US. And we talked about just in general abnormalities, 3 to 4% of all babies have congenital malformations, major congenital malformations that require surgery or prolonged care. In this case, I think that the most important thing is to let them know that you're available, and you're there for them, because these people's lives are turned upside down, they have a 30 week-er, they have a life that they still have to attend to, they have to make mortgage payments or rent payments, they have to drive everyday to the NICU, and it depends where they live. There are some patients that for example deliver in Temecula, they're baby has to be transferred to children's section of Mary Birch here, and imagine what the gas prices are right now, so these parents have to drive day in day out, and that's costly. So lives are turned upside down, and there is nothing in my opinion, as a father, that's more important than really your child's well being. I understand, I mention this all the time, and I say it especially to my young couples that I see for example for ultrasounds, I tell them that the meaning of unconditional love was understood by me when I had my daughter, and this is such a huge responsibility. So when you are told that you're baby has all these potential complications that can happen, and there is no... you can't go to a fortune teller and have them tell you what's going to happen to your child. There are all these complications that can happen, your baby could have developmental delays, how do parents take that? They have to deal with that and also all of life's requirements. So be there for them, offer help, if you can fundraise for them, have a way you can get that mom and dad to be able to only focus on their child, and take away all the other problems for them. That's the best way to be there for them. I mean that's the best thing you can do. And also talk to the hospital social worker, there are facilities that can help. And, again, the key is to allow that parent to focus only on their child, and take away anything else that you can.

[Theme Music]


Sunny Gault : Today on Preggie Pals we're talking about what it really means to be baby-friendly. It's an important distinction for hospitals and birthing centers. We have two guests joining us on today's show. Marsha Walker is on the board of directors for Baby-Friendly USA, the organization that implements this initiative here in the United States, and then after the break we'll talk with Dr. Jennifer Shaw, an OB/GYN at Scripps Hospital here in San Diego, which is in the process of becoming baby-friendly. So first, let's talk with Marsha. Marsha, what does the term “baby-friendly” actually mean?

Marsha Walker : Well, the term indicated that the provision and achievement of optimal lactation care and services has been achieved by a hospital through a very specific type of process. And that this hospital has worked to remove hospital barriers to breastfeeding. It's a very prestige award for a hospital to achieve. And mothers and families who have their baby at a hospital like that are assured that the breastfeeding help that they get is free of commercial interest, it's evidence based, and that they can be somewhat confident that they are going to get the information they need to not only start breastfeeding, but to be able to continue breastfeeding, both within the hospital, and of course, after their discharge.

Sunny Gault : So why is it the baby-friendly hospital initiative, why is it needed, when was it created and what's the purpose behind it?

Marsha Walker : The purpose behind it is that maternity care practices in hospitals over many years had actually put barriers in front of breastfeeding. Many hospitals – and some, of course, continue to do so today – separate mothers and babies right from the beginning, keep babies in a nursery, put babies on a feeding schedule, do not give appropriate breastfeeding support and help to mothers who want to breastfeed, and so it was seen that there were a lot of barriers right from the start to breastfeeding, and that there really needed to be some type of a mechanism to correct this type of situations. It was created back in 1991, by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. And it's an international project and program, because it was recognized that these barriers on breastfeeding exist throughout the world, in hospitals in every country. And so it was an effort, it was a worldwide effort to remove the barriers and make sure that hospitals followed what were called the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding. Now these 10 steps were created by global experts, and intended as evidence-based practice to again assure that mothers and babies got off to the correct start to breastfeeding in the hospital, and that the hospital itself, through its routines or policies or lack of policies, wasn't throwing barriers into the phase, left and right, for mothers to surmount while they were in the hospital.

Sunny Gault : So let's go ahead and break down these 10 steps. And as we do that, can you tell us why each step is important?

Marsha Walker : Sure. The 10 steps were actually created in 1989. A global group of experts looked at the evidence and said, “OK, what is it that needs to occur in the hospital to make sure that mothers and babies get off to the right start? The good start to breastfeeding? And what are the barriers? What are the obstacles that these mothers and babies are encountering in the hospital that's preventing this?” And so they looked at the evidence, published evidence, and guidance on this, and they've put together the 10 steps. And what the first step is, is to have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff. Now, a policy like this is important because it assures not only evidence-based practice, but that the information that is given to mothers is consistent from staff person to staff person. There's nothing worse for a mother than to hear different guidance from every different nurse who comes in and tells her something different. It becomes very confusing to the point where a mother don't know what to do. So this breastfeeding policy is something that is put together by the maternity unit, and that is both communicated to and followed by all the staff. In that way, it's evidence-based, in other words, it's not based on somebody's whim, or somebody's experience or lack of experience, it's not based on anecdotal stories, it is based on evidence that is consistent from one staff member to the other. The second one is train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement the policy. Well, that just makes sense, to get a policy, you have to make sure that everyone's trained to be able to do it. Third one is to inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding. And of course, that makes sense, so that mothers understand, during their pregnancy, the importance of breastfeeding, to their baby and to themselves. And the only way they understand this is going to be through information that is communicated to them by the health care professionals, not by formula companies. Fourth one is help mothers to initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth. This is important because that first hour after the birth of the baby is a very special window of time, when the mother and the baby are specially attuned to each other. And if the baby has the opportunity to imprint on the breast, and get breastfeeding off to a good start at the moment in time, it is most beneficial.

Sunny Gault : Are there exceptions made if it's a more complicated birth, a caesarean or there is an emergency, obviously there are exceptions to that.

Marsha Walker : Sure. There would be exceptions if the baby were premature, if the baby were ill, if there was a serious complication or problem. Absolutely.

Sunny Gault : OK.

Marsha Walker : The fifth one is, show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants. This means that when a mother is in a baby-friendly hospital, there is going to be a nurse that is going to show her the basics of how to position the baby at the breast, how to know the baby is latched correctly, how to know the baby is swallowing colostrum, these types of things. And there's also generally a lactation consultant on staff, or maybe more than one lactation consultant on staff, that the nurses can call upon if the breastfeeding situation and mother – baby situation is a little more medically complicated. Mothers need to also be able to maintain breastfeeding, in other words, be able to pump or express milk if they are separated from the baby. If the baby is over in special care, or the neonatal intensive care unit. So that means that the mother still receives information on how to get things started, how to maintain her milk production, and how to get colostrum expressed and over to the baby. The sixth one is give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated. And this has to do with the amount of supplementation with infant formulas that goes on in hospitals, which is way too much. And the idea of training staff is to make sure that breastfeeding is proceeding along the way it should be, so that supplementation with bottles of formula is not needed, unless there is a medical indication.

Sunny Gault : Now this also means that those goodie bags that they used to give out when you leave the hospital, with all the formula, that is no longer allowed, if you're a baby-friendly hospital. Right?

Marsha Walker : Yes, baby-friendly hospitals do not give out competition. And the competition is there not as a gift from the hospitals, this is a marketing tactic, used by infant formula companies, it's called “sampling”, to make sure that the mother goes home with a product that is in her hands and that she is more likely to purchase. And so this actually is a very potent way of marketing infant formula. And hospitals who are baby-friendly are not in the business of marketing pricy products to vulnerable new mothers. And so the seventh step is practice rooming in, which is allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day. And this is important, because if you're going to breastfeed, you need access to the baby, and the baby needs his mommy. And this is actually true, no matter how a baby is fed, and again, evidence shows that when the baby is kept on the mother's chest, skin to skin with the mom, the baby maintains his temperature better, he doesn't get chilled, maintains his blood glucose levels better, in other words his blood sugars don't drop, the baby doesn't cry and the baby now knows that this is mommy, I can hear her heart beat, I can feel how she's keeping me warm, and “Oh, by the way, look what I see, I think that's where my food comes from!” And so, there they go. And the idea of practicing rooming in means that the mother has the opportunity to learn about her new baby, to learn the feeding cues of the baby, learn how to position the baby at the breast, this type of things. She cannot do that if the baby is 30 feet away, in a plastic box in a nursery. The other thing is that the mother puts antibodies into her colostrum and milk thanks to which she and her baby are exposed. So she has a way of protecting her baby from all the germs and nasty things, all the pathogens are circulating in the hospital, because she and the baby are both exposed to it. If the baby is separated from her down in a nursery, she is not exposed to the pathogens down there and can't protect her baby from those.

Sunny Gault : That's a really good point.

Marsha Walker : Step number eight is encourage breastfeeding on demand. This just makes sense. Rather than putting the baby on some type of artificial schedule, what this step is pointing out to mothers and staff is that the baby knows when he's hungry, the baby knows when she wants to feed, and we want to feed the baby when the baby is available, behaviorally available to feed. When the baby is showing feeding cues. And it turns out that when the babies are breastfed that way, they get plenty of colostrum, they are well fed, the mother begins to understand, “Oh, that's when I need to feed the baby, when he does this, that or the other thing”. And so the baby is not in any danger of being underfed. If they are fed according to when they really are ready to feed. Number nine is give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants. Now the reason that is in there is because babies very early on develop what's called a “nipple preference”. In other words, when they imprint on the human nipple, that's what they understand is going to be the source of their food. If they imprint on an artificial nipple – and an artificial nipple is very different from a pacifier or a bottle, and is very different from the breast. It is a long, rigid, hard object that is inserted into their mouth. The breast is not, the nipple on a breast is drown into the baby's mouth by the baby himself, and that is a huge difference between the two methods of feeding. And the baby needs to learn how to engage in this drawing of the breast into his mouth. And if we program that baby to expect a rigid hard object to go into his mouth, his mouth is going to conform to that particular object. And then, when presented with the breast, there is no way that the baby is going to be able to latch on to a breast the way he sucks on an artificial nipple.

Sunny Gault : What about nipple shields, how does that fit into this?

Marsha Walker : Nipple shields cover the nipple with a more rigid projection. And those are actually very good tools to use, but only in special situations, and this is why they are a tool that is reserved for an infant who is having – let's say, a premature infant, or an infant who is having some difficulties, for a myriad of reasons, maybe he has upper airway problems, or he's premature, or is a late pre-term infant baby, who do not generate much vacuum in their mouth, these types of special situations. So a nipple shield is a very good tool, but used only when necessary.

Sunny Gault : OK, but you could still use a nipple shield and be compliant with baby-friendly.

Marsha Walker : Yeah, no problem.

Sunny Gault : And then is the goal to eventually wean babies if possible, off the nipple shield and go just to the breast?

Marsha Walker : Yeah. And that may happen sometime after they go home, and again, it depends on the problem, shields are generally used for babies who have some difficulty. And that means that there needs to be follow-up, once the mother leaves the hospital, in what's going on, that needs to be monitored. And it should be monitored obviously by the baby's physician, to make sure that the baby is doing OK. And also by a licensed lactation consultant. So that's a special situation, but it does not preclude the hospital from attending the baby.

Sunny Gault : What about introducing bottles if the mother has to pump, let's say it's a NICU situation, is there any language in these steps about the ability to use bottles if momma and baby are separated?

Marsha Walker : The supplementation, that's how we go back to step number six, given nothing else unless medically indicated. The medical indication is the exception. Step number ten is foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups, and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center. And this is to make sure that there is some type of follow-up. The first 48 hours go by very quickly, in a haze for many mothers, and what's really needed is good support follow-up after the mother goes home, to make sure that she has an expert on tap, who can help her get through those early days and weeks of breastfeeding. It's a learning process, for mothers and babies, and what we want to make sure here is that we don't toss these mothers and babies away and say, “OK, good bye! Good luck! Nice to see you, come back for your next baby!”

Sunny Gault : Right. Now, how do the hospitals do this? Does it qualify if they send them home with some sort of handout that says, “Hey, if you need help, these are some resources that we provide, resources in the community”, or do they have to reach out to them, do they have to call them, what is that relationship look like?

Marsha Walker : Many hospitals routinely call these mothers after they go home, just to do a double check on them. But generally, what hospitals will do – some hospitals have what are called postpartum care centers, where the mothers come back to the hospital, and there are support groups there, the baby is weighted, they have lactation consultants who work with them. They have a really nice program part of the whole idea of the lactation program, so that the mothers have all of that right there. Other hospitals will not only make a call like that, but they will refer mothers to all types of support services in the community. They may give mothers phone numbers, they may give mothers appointments, if necessary, these type of things. There has to be some type of guidance for the mother after she leaves the facility. And as long as the hospitals are making sure that there is access to help and after they go home, they are fulfilling that ten steps.

Sunny Gault : Right. Can you tell us about how many hospitals have done that so far? And how many are kind of in the process at this point?

Marsha Walker : Sure. In the US, there is probably approximately 3300 hospitals who provide birthing services. Of those, there are 157 hospitals who have been designated as baby-friendly. Now in the whole pipeline, those 157 hospitals and all of the other ones who are now working on this, there are approximately 785, so there is lots of hospitals that are working on earning that designation of baby-friendly, and everyone needs to be congratulated, the ones with the designation and every single hospital that is working hard on this. They should be congratulated on making such a commitment to the mothers and babies, and trusted to their care. The mission of these hospitals is to provide health services, and I can't think of a better service to provide right from the outskirts of life than earning that baby-friendly designation.

Sunny Gault : Well, Marsha, thank you so much for being on our show today and providing this great information for our listeners. When we come back, we'll be talking with Dr. Shaw, who's hospital is in the process of becoming baby-friendly.

[Theme Music]


Sunny Gault : Welcome back! Today we're learning about baby-friendly hospitals and birthing centers. Dr. Jennifer Shaw is joining us now in the studio. Dr. Shaw works for Scripps here in San Diego, Scripps Encinitas was the first hospital in San Diego to receive the official baby-friendly distinction, and now another one of their hospitals, Scripps Mercy, is going through the same process, and Dr. Shaw is heading of those efforts. Also, Dr. Shaw recently gave birth to her own baby, who is just about three months old now. And there are some perks to employees who work at baby-friendly hospitals, so she can talk about that as well. So, Dr. Shaw, welcome to Preggie Pals!

Jennifer Shaw : Thank you!

Sunny Gault : Tell us about your hospital's efforts to become baby-friendly.

Jennifer Shaw : They've put out ten steps that we're following, and that were basically implemented at Scripps Mercy, and we're still in the process of implementing these ten steps. But basically it's to have a written breastfeeding policy that all the staff knows about. For having the staff trained in this policy, we're supporting mothers in breastfeeding. And then to educate the patients about breastfeeding benefits. We're initiating breastfeeding within one hour after birth, and promoting skin to skin with moms and babies, and promoting mother and baby bonding during that hour, and we're delaying doing the medications and wait until after the mom and baby have had a chance to bond and breastfeed. And then we're showing moms how to breastfeed, we have lactation support available every day at Mercy, and we're showing them how to start and also maintain their lactation. We're not providing any food or drink to the babies other than breast milk, unless it's medically indicated and ordered by the pediatrician. We're promoting rooming in, which we've done for years, and then also breastfeeding on demand. And then we're basically eliminating pacifiers and artificial nipples, unless there is some kind of indication for that. And then also we're partnering with breastfeeding support groups and giving patients referrals on their discharge in order to help them continue breastfeeding after they go home.

Sunny Gault : And Dr. Shaw, why do you think it's important for hospitals in general to become baby-friendly?

Jennifer Shaw : Before the whole baby-friendly initiative started, up to 50% of the babies were actually getting formula before they left the hospital.

Sunny Gault : And why is that?

Jennifer Shaw : I think there's the perception sometimes and worry when babies are born that, “I don't have milk right away”, people don't really understand that the baby stomach only holds about five milliliters for the first 24 hours, and so they don't really need to produce a lot of colostrum, and the babies eat very frequently, and that's not a sign that the baby is not getting enough milk, it's just the way that baby is going to stimulate the mom to start milk production. And so I think there was a misconception that we needed to supplement our babies because they are so hungry and they're eating so frequently, when really that's just the way that they're going to start milk production in the mom. And so we're trying to educate patients and also educate staff to educate patients that that's the natural way that babies start milk production in the mom. And we're getting away from using formula in that way.

Sunny Gault : What happens when a mom doesn't want to breastfeed, even when the benefits are explained to her?

Jennifer Shaw : Being baby-friendly and being in support of breastfeeding doesn't mean that we're not going to support moms that don't want to breastfeed, we're going to support those moms too. Part of being baby-friendly is that we teach people how to safely constitute formula, so that those babies will also be fed to the highest standard basically. I mean, there are definitely people who come in with a preconceived notion that, “I'm going to formula feed my baby, I did that with my last baby, that works for me, and that's what my plan is for this next baby too”, or “That's my plan for this baby”. So we try to educate those patients well, you can totally choose that, we're not going to make moms feel bad about choosing formula, but we do want to educate them that human milk is a live substance, there are antibodies in there are going to protect your baby, and everything that you've been exposed to in your life, all of the illnesses and everything that you've built up immunity to, you're going to pass that to your baby with your breast milk. So even if you choose to supplement your baby with formula, because that fits your lifestyle, you can still breastfeed your baby or you can still pump milk and give that to your baby, and they will still get some kind of protection from that too.

Sunny Gault : And I know that there are a lot of moms who go in with the intention of breastfeeding, but there are complications, and whether they have a NICU baby, or there is something medically that's going on with them, that they need treatment for. How do you handle those types of cases where breast milk is prefered, but it may not be what the mother can provide?

Jennifer Shaw : Well, we try to support them, if they can pump milk, even if it's not enough to fully feed their baby, we can provide response for them, we have a breastfeeding support class, which I've actually personally attended, where you can come and you weight your baby, and then you breastfeed your baby and then you weight your baby again, and after you're done breastfeeding, you can actually see how much milk you're transferring to the baby. And I think that's really helpful for moms, even if they're not fully breastfeeding, so they can actually see, “OK, my baby had an ounce and a half of breast milk”, and then they can formula feed their baby if they need to do that. And we've had several moms that have come who have milk production issues, they can't produce enough milk, and it's been really helpful for them, because they can come, they can get support from other people that are not fully breastfeeding, or that are formula feeding because they couldn't breastfeed, and I think that's really helpful for them, so they can see that there are other people that are having problems breastfeeding, they're not the only one that wanted to breastfeed and wasn't able to.

Sunny Gault : What are some of the benefits for hospitals in providing these types of services to become baby-friendly? Obviously, you guys want to help your patients in general, are there other reasons or what's the main reason to go through this process for a hospital?

Jennifer Shaw : I think a part of it is the marketing. We would like to attract people to deliver at our hospital. And we would like them to know that we're there to support them in their breastfeeding goals. But I think in a larger scale too, hospitals that go baby-friendly can know that they're helping, they're not only helping the environment by contributing less waste from formula and all of the pre-packaging stuff that's going into our landfills, but we're also helping moms be healthier or helping babies be healthier, we're reducing health care costs on a whole. If we're able to meet some of the goals and healthy people by 2020 they say that we'll reduce health care costs somewhere between $3 and $13 billion a year, which will be really helpful.

Sunny Gault : I know being baby-friendly really is an attitude change, the thing about breastfeeding first, and mom and baby first, and sometimes, it almost feels like you have to change the whole culture of the hospital, the way that everybody thinks, so how has that process been for you guys, is that a hard thing to accomplish, has everyone been on board and ready to go? Tell us about that.

Jennifer Shaw : I think changing the culture in the hospital – because in a hospital everything is medicalized, and so it's all about taking the vital signs and making sure that everybody is OK, so it's putting the focus more on having a baby as a natural part of life, and we can let the moms and babies be together, and we don't need to do all of these interventions while we're letting them bond, and letting breastfeeding start. So it's more changing that culture, because the nurses have a checklist of things they need to do. “I need to do this to the baby, I need the blood pressure, I need this, I need to do the weight, I need to do my evaluation and to call the pediatrician and let them know that they have a due baby”, and everything. It's just taking the focus off the checklist and putting the focus back on to the mom and the baby.

Sunny Gault : And has that been a hard thing to do? It sounds kind of daunting honestly.

Jennifer Shaw : It depends on the nurse, because a lot of the nurses – we have one, Jerriden, she's been the head of the breastfeeding taskforce, so she's been leading the meetings and educating her colleagues and everything, and so there's definitely been nurses who were like, “We should have been doing this all along!” They've always practiced that way. But then there is other staff members who may be more pro formula, and we all carry our certain biases, so it's more like helping people realize that we want to promote breastfeeding, and this is how we're going to do it.

Sunny Gault : One of the things I think it's interesting about being baby-friendly is if you are patient, let's say you've already had your baby, but you're still breastfeeding, and you need to come in for another treatment, but, again, you're breastfeeding, your baby needs to be there, that you are still supportive of that patient's need as well, even though it's not a patient that just delivered, right?

Jennifer Shaw : Right. If any patients or any moms get readmitted to the hospital after the birth of their baby, if the indication for readmission is some kind of infection related to birth, they have a mastitis and they need to be in the hospital, we try to hospitalize those patients on the third floor, so the babies can actually stay with them in their rooms. And then we provide them with a hospital pump if they need that while they're being admitted for whatever reason. If a mom gets readmitted to a medical surgical floor, even if the baby can't stay with her, we'll still have lactation come and see her, we still provide her with a hospital pump so that she can pump while she is there, and there is very few medications that people are on while they're in the hospital that they cannot breastfeed while they're taking those medication. So we provide education related to the medications that they're taking, if they can still breastfeed, and then we have them pump and save that milk, and we have places in the hospital where we can store their milk until it can be picked up by the family.

Sunny Gault : This isn't just about the patient, this is about the employee, when we're talking about and thinking about hospitals, that could hundreds, even thousands of people, and I think it's really interesting, because I know you just had your baby three months ago, so this is very pertinent to you. What are some of the things that I guess have changed within your hospital to really help employees as well, who might be breastfeeding their babies?

Jennifer Shaw : We try to always have available a place were they can go and pump while they're at work, they are given enough break time so they can go and do that, because we work 12 hours shifts usually, on labor and delivery and postpartum, so you really need the pump realistically, three or four times a shift in order to maintain your milk supply, and so we're very into promoting that for our employees, so that they can in turn support that for our patients. I found that it's been very easy for me – being a physician there, I can always find a place to go and pump while I'm working, and I haven't had any problems maintaining my milk supply for the baby or anything like that, and I might actually over supply her, my freezer is pretty full right now.

Sunny Gault : Thanks, Dr. Shaw, for joining us today. If you're listening to this episode and you would like to know if there are hospitals and birthing centers in your area which have a baby-friendly distinction, simply go to, they have a section on their website called “find facilities”, and it lists all the hospitals and birthing centers with the full distinction. Of course, there are many facilities, as we mentioned earlier, that are still in the process. So coming up after the show, we're going to talk about what to expect when your hospital or birthing center has not yet received the distinction, but is in the process. Of course, this conversation is just for members of our Preggie Pals Club. If you would like more information about our club, visit

[Theme Music] [Featured Segments: From our Listeners]


Sunny Gault : Before we wrap up today's show, I wanted to share this message with you all. This is from one of our listeners, Stephanie, and Stephanie, in this message, tells us why she chose a baby-friendly hospital and how it ended up making a big difference in her situation, after her baby was born.

Stephanie : My name is Stephanie, I'm in San Diego, California, and I gave birth to my son at UCSD, a baby-friendly facility, and I am so glad that I went there. I actually ended up changing my insurance coverage in order to be able to do that, because I wanted to go somewhere baby-friendly. It turned out that my son needed to be in the hospital for a week after the birth, and instead of sending me home after I was discharged, they actually just kept me in the room and in his room, so that they could board me there, so that I could still stay with him the whole time, and that really helped with breastfeeding. Everything went wrong with my birth, I had a C-section, he had to be separated from me for four hours, everything went wrong with my birth and couldn't have gone worse as far as breastfeeding goes, but being there and having so much support breastfeeding was amazing. And he is now two months old and going strong. So I am so glad that I was at a baby-friendly hospital, UCSD, it's pretty awesome for that.

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Sunny Gault : That wraps up our show for today, we appreciate you listening to Preggie Pals, don't forget to check out our sister show Parent Savers, for parents with newborns, infants and toddlers, and our show The Boob Group, for moms who breastfeed their babies. Next week, we have a special Mother's Day Episode, featuring Penny Simkin, a well known author and child birth educator, who will discuss those first few moments after birth, what do moms really need to know? This is Preggie Pals, your pregnancy, your way!


This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.


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