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Baby Friendly

Learn more about our Baby-Friendly birth facility, the first hospital in south Georgia to achieve this distinction.

Albany, Ga. – Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital has received recognition as a Baby-Friendly birth facility, the first hospital in south Georgia to achieve this distinction.

The prestigious designation was awarded by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. as part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the global initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for mothers and their babies.

“This milestone is the result of a five-year journey that could not have been done without the dedication of our Women’s & Children staff. As the second hospital in the state outside of metro Atlanta to receive this designation, we are extremely proud of this achievement,” said Jennifer Heleski, RN-BSN, CLC, Nurse Navigator, Women’s and Children’s Services.  “Having this title shows our community and the region that we are committed to providing care at a higher standard and ensuring our moms and their babies are off to a healthy start.”

Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. Research shows that breastfeeding is the best way to feed a new baby, providing multiple benefits to both the baby and mother.

“It does not matter if you are a new mom or it’s your second time, breastfeeding can be difficult. Through this process we have made changes in practice and procedures to help our mothers who choose to breastfeed have a much more successful experience. Regardless of feeding method, mothers feel like they get a better bond early on because they get to experience skin to skin time and rooming-in.  We keep moms and babies together and integrate the family into the care that they receive,” continued Heleski.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently, there are 461 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.