Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies, OBA and OLCA Recognize Mercy Health’s Family Birthing Centers for Promoting Breast Feeding

Mercy Health - Cincinnati, which provides advanced, quality, compassionate care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that Ohio’s First Steps for Healthy Babies program, the Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance and the Ohio Lactation Consultant Association have recognized the family birthing centers at Anderson, Fairfield and West Hospitals for their support and promotion of successful breastfeeding.

Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies is a voluntary breastfeeding designation program through the Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Department of Health that recognizes maternity centers in Ohio for taking steps to promote, protect and support breastfeeding.

In partnership with the Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance and the Ohio Lactation Consultants Association, the Ohio First Steps program is recognizing facilities, including all three of Mercy Health – Cincinnati’s family birthing centers, with the “Maternity Care Best Practice Award” for 2016. This recognition indicates the facilities’ commitment to best practices by choosing to not distribute infant formula or formula company-sponsored sample packs.

Mercy Health’s family birthing centers have lactation consultants available to support for breastfeeding. They also provide new parents with information on the benefits of breastfeeding, including details on the Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies program, which are available here www.ohiohospitals.org/ohiobagfree.

“Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies gives us one more way to have thoughtful conversations with new parents about the benefits of breastfeeding,” said Shawna Straub, Clinical Coordinator, Anderson Hospital Family Birthing Center.

Adds Jennifer Lipke, Nursing Manager, Fairfield Family Birthing Center notes that “the support we provide new mothers impacts her decision to breastfeed so we do all we can to educate her on the benefits of breastfeeding.”

“Increasing the number of breastfed newborns can lead to a decrease in the likelihood for future health conditions for the child such as asthma, diabetes and obesity,” adds Debbie Knapp, Nursing Supervisor, West Hospital Family Birthing Center.

For more information about Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies, please visit, http://ohiohospitals.org/ohiofirststeps