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Loyola Contributes to Nationwide Increase in Breast-feeding Rates

Hospital makes progress toward 'Baby-Friendly' designation

MAYWOOD – More mothers in the United States are breast-feeding their babies, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued during World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1 to 7, and National Breastfeeding Month. The CDC attributes this to steps hospitals are taking to increase breast-feeding rates among new mothers. 

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is among a select group of hospitals nationwide involved in a first-of-its-kind initiative to significantly improve breast-feeding rates. The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is leading this Best Fed Beginnings program with the help of the CDC and Baby-Friendly USA Inc., the national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

“Loyola is pleased to contribute to this nationwide trend, because breast-feeding is widely recognized as the healthiest choice for both baby and mother,” said Pam Allyn, RN, BSN, LCCE, IBCLC, a lactation consultant at LUHS.

Although breast-feeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers, half of U.S.-born babies are given formula within the first week, and by 9 months, only 31 percent of babies are breast-feeding at all. Breast-feeding rates are lowest among poor socio-economic populations. The Best Fed Beginnings program is intended to reverse these trends and to increase the number of U.S. hospitals with a proven model for maternity services that better supports a new mother’s choice to breast-feed.

Loyola is working with 90 hospitals in a 22-month learning collaborative, using proven quality-improvement methods to transform their maternity care services in pursuit of a “Baby-Friendly” designation. This designation verifies that a hospital has comprehensively implemented the American Academy of Pediatrics-endorsed Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, as established in the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Loyola has started by creating a breast-feeding policy and training all health-care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Media Relations

Nora Plunkett
Media Relations
(708) 216-6268
nplunkett@lumc.edu
Anne Dillon
Media Relations
(708) 216-8232
adillon@lumc.edu