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LLUCH is First Children's Hospital in Nation to Receive 'Baby-Friendly' Designation

LOMA LINDA, Calif., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Loma Linda University Children's Hospital (LLUCH) was awarded the "Baby-Friendly" designation over the weekend for its efforts in giving breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. LLUCH is the first Children's Hospital in the Nation to be awarded this status.

"Because children's hospitals have neonatal intensive care units and other departments that require more specialized care, there is additional training and service that is needed for our physicians and nurses when educating newborn mothers," says Carol Melcher, manager of Perinatal Services Network at LLUCH. "That is why it is such an honor for Loma Linda University Children's Hospital to be the first of its kind to receive the 'Baby-Friendly' designation."

Melcher played a key role in educating the staff at numerous hospitals throughout the county on the steps to becoming "Baby-Friendly" - steps that require a systematic change in the care of newborns. Through her efforts over a span of nine years and a grant from First 5 San Bernardino, 46-hundred nurses have received training. There are now 12 hospitals in the Inland Empire with the designation, making it the "Baby-Friendliest" region in the nation.

LLUCH received the designation at the Perinatal Services Network Annual Key Advisory Lunch on January 30, 2009. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). BFHI's goal is to promote breastfeeding. Scientific studies have shown that breastfed children have fewer and less serious illnesses including reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), childhood cancer, and diabetes.

About Loma Linda University Children's Hospital - LLUCH

The Children's Hospital is the only dedicated children's hospital in the vast geographic region of the San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties. With 277 beds dedicated just for kids, one of the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) in the country, and more than 100,000 children that come each year, LLUCH is a major pediatric teaching facility for Loma Linda University and is part of the Loma Linda University health care system. Known worldwide as the pioneer of neonatal heart transplantation, LLUCH has performed more infant heart transplants than any other center of its kind.

About First 5 San Bernardino

The Children and Families Commission for San Bernardino County (First 5 San Bernardino) was created in December 1998 in order to realize the benefits of Proposition 10 (California Children and Families Act) for the County's youngest residents and their families. The act created a program for the purpose of promoting, supporting, and improving the early development of children from the prenatal stage to five years of age.

SOURCE Loma Linda University Children's Hospital
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