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LLUCH is First Children's Hospital in Nation to Receive 'Baby-Friendly' Designation
Date:2/2/2009

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.

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SOURCE Loma Linda University Children's Hospital
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