Breastfeeding success at Community Hospital gets state recognition
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MONTEREY, Calif. — Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula ranks fifth among California hospitals for its successful breastfeeding efforts, an achievement recognized at a state gathering today spotlighting the critical health advantages of breastfeeding.
At the California Breastfeeding Summit in Sacramento, Community Hospital was also honored as one of only 34 Baby Friendly hospitals in California, a designation awarded by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund to selected hospitals around the world with a demonstrated commitment to breastfeeding.
The fifth-place ranking in breastfeeding is included in a study by the California WIC Association and UC Davis, released today in connection with the summit. Community Hospital has consistently been among the top performers in the annual study. Community Hospital also was one of the first 50 Baby Friendly hospitals in the nation when it first received the designation in 2003.
"We're extremely pleased to be recognized for our long-term work in promoting breastfeeding," says Catherine Powers, director of Community Hospital's Family Birth Center. "Breastfeeding gives babies a head-start when it comes to health by reducing the risk of infections and obesity and for chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma.
"The U.S. Surgeon General put the spotlight on those health benefits last week when she issued a call to action to increase the nation's rate of breastfeeding. We support that effort and are committed to continuing our work with new and expectant mothers."
The study released today measures the percentage of new mothers who exclusively breastfeed their newborns while in the hospital and the percentage that do at least some breastfeeding. Studies show that mothers who breastfeed exclusively while in the hospital, rather than using formula for all or part of their baby's food, are much more likely to continue the practice once they go home. At Community Hospital, 87.3 percent of new mothers breastfed exclusively in 2009, well above the state average of 51.9 percent.
ABOUT COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, established in 1934, has grown and evolved in direct response to the changing healthcare needs of the people it serves. It is a nonprofit healthcare provider with 205 staffed acute-care hospital beds and 28 skilled-nursing beds, delivering a continuum of care from birth to end of life, and every stage in between. It serves the Monterey Peninsula and surrounding communities through locations including the main hospital, outpatient facilities, satellite laboratories, a mental health clinic, a short-term skilled nursing facility, Hospice of the Central Coast, and business offices. Find more information about Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula at http://www.chomp.org/