SLBMC Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation Plaque from PAHO


SLBMC- The prestigious Baby-Friendly designation plaque was today officially presented to Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC) by Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The presentation was made by the Deputy Director of PAHO, Mary Lou Valdez and the plaque has been placed in the Maternity Unit at the hospital.

The hospital had initially achieved Baby-Friendly designation back in September 2023 after a rigorous review process.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a worldwide program administered by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) aimed at ensuring that all mothers and infants receive the best possible start in life by fostering an environment that supports breastfeeding and encourages the essential bond between mother and child.

“The hospital experience strongly influences an individual’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding,” said Ann-Marie Browne-Isaac (Certified Midwife), Department Nurse Manager of Maternity and Outpatient Clinic at SLBMC.

“We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation to ensure that those delivering at our hospital who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported.”

“Our Baby-Friendly designation is a wonderful achievement. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get us here—A whole-hospital effort. But I especially want to thank the teams for Maternity to include Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, NICU and our Antenatal Clinic—plus our community nurses and breastfeeding support groups. They were the true champions of this initiative, the heart and soul of it and we would not be where we are now, without them.”

The distinguished Baby-Friendly honor recognizes that Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the WHO and UNICEF for optimal infant feeding support in the first days of a newborn’s life.

“Our goal now is to maintain what we’ve accomplished—And that involves re-designation, when it’s due in five (5) years,” continued Nurse Ann-Marie Browne-Isaac. “We’ve seen hospitals lose this designation in the past because standards were not maintained but we owe too much to our families to let that happen at SLBMC.”

Sir Lester Bird Medical is part of a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world.

These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding, while respecting every patient’s right to make the best decision for themselves and their family.

“We understand that each patient’s journey is unique, and our commitment to providing support both while in hospital and after discharge, regardless of their feeding choices, is unwavering,” said Nurse Browne-Isaac.

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