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2014 News

Published on September 03, 2014

Community Hospital in top 10 for breastfeeding success in California


Contact: Monica Sciuto (831) 622-2756

Communication and Marketing: (831) 625-4505

Breastfeeding mom SML

Dina Lozoya Escobedo, breastfeeds her baby at CHOMP.

MONTEREY, Calif. — Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula ranked in the top 10 out of 251 California delivery hospitals for successful breastfeeding efforts, according to a new report by the California WIC Association and UC Davis Human Lactation Center. California hospitals were ranked on exclusive breastfeeding rates – babies who receive no food or fluids other than breast milk continuously for the first six months of life. The ranking was part of a study that shared that hospital reform in the state of California has contributed to an 8 percent increase in exclusive breastfeeding rates since 2010. According to the report, positive and long-lasting health protections are strongest when breastfeeding is exclusive.

The study measures the percentage of new mothers who exclusively breastfeed their newborns while in the hospital compared to the percentage who supplement their breastfeeding. Research shows 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 in 2013, 98 percent of new mothers breastfed during their stay at the hospital and 89.5 percent breastfed exclusively for six months. These numbers are well above the state average of 64.6 percent and the county average of 70.9 percent for exclusive breastfeeding.  Community Hospital ranks high because of the best practices put in place; breastfeeding support policies and standards as well as training that supports, protects, and promotes breastfeeding.

“We are extremely proud of this designation and our efforts on this important program,” says Catherine Powers, RN, director of Community Hospital’s Family Birth Center. “For many mothers, the hospital is the place to receive assistance needed to provide the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and babies.”

The ranking comes on the heels of Community Hospital’s sponsorship of The Global Latch On, a worldwide effort to set a new record for simultaneous breastfeeding that was held on August 2 and attended by 30 mothers and their babies.

Community Hospital’s commitment to breastfeeding is also recognized through its designation as Baby-Friendly™. The Baby-Friendly™ USA Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Based on those groups' Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the designation is awarded to birth centers that offer breastfeeding mothers help and information for gaining the skills and confidence needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding. Community Hospital was one of the first 50 Baby Friendly hospitals in the nation when it first received the designation in 2003.

Some of the benefits of breastfeeding include:

  • Breastfeeding decreases the risk of infections and illnesses, including diarrhea, ear infections, and pneumonia in infants.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to develop asthma.
  • Children who are breastfed for at least six months have a decreased incidence of obesity.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
  • Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

Community Hospital’s Family Birth Center offers an array of support for expecting and new mothers wishing to breastfeed. All nurses at the Family Birth Center are trained and able to support new mothers and babies with breastfeeding and bonding. International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, who are credentialed breastfeeding professionals with the highest level of knowledge and skill in breastfeeding support, are also available support to families as needed. In addition, they provide classes, hands-on training, and consultations to those delivering their babies at Community Hospital. Learn more about Family Birth Center classes and services, or call 625-4987.


“We look forward to continuing our efforts working with area mothers to fulfill their goal of a happy and healthy start to their baby’s life,” says Powers.





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 220 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, Peninsula Wellness Center, and business offices. Find more information about Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula at

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