Published on March 01, 2021

UNC Health Southeastern earns designation as 3-star maternity center

Breastfeeding Loog

UNC Health Southeastern has announced that its medical center has received the North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation from the North Carolina Division of Public Health. UNC Health Southeastern was designated with three stars for their efforts in implementing policies and practices that support a breastfeeding-friendly environment for patients. The designation is based on the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These steps support initiation, exclusivity and continuation of breastfeeding.

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2.  Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3.  Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4.  Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
  6.  Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in-allow mothers and infants to remain together-24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no artificial teats (also called bottle nipples) or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Participating facilities in North Carolina earn a star for every two steps implemented from the Ten Steps. The North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation is valid for a period of three

years. Facilities that implement additional steps may re-apply for a higher star level at any time. This initiative promotes a continuum of quality improvement and is endorsed by the North Carolina Hospital

Association and the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force.

“On behalf of UNC Health Southeastern, we congratulate this Maternal Child Health team for working hard to obtain this designation,” said UNC Health Southeastern Chief Nurse Executive Renae Taylor. “Breastfeeding provides unmatched benefits for infants in their first few months of life, as well as tremendous long-term effects. UNC Health Southeastern is committed to continuing to improve the breastfeeding rates in Robeson and surround counties and, ultimately, improve the health of our community.”

In January 2011, US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin released The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, which included the Health Care Action Step to “ensure that maternity care

practices throughout the United States are fully supportive of breastfeeding.”

“UNC Health Southeastern is committed to improving the care of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens,” added Taylor.  “We are proud to join the Division of Public Health in its efforts to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in North Carolina.”