Colo. health department gives St. Francis award

St. Francis Medical Center, part of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, is one of 10 hospitals to be recognized by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for implementing best practices stop support breastfeeding.

Last year, the department recognized 13 hospitals, and there are now 33 hospitals, more than half of all Colorado birthing hospitals, that give new mothers the support they need to start and continue breastfeeding.

“Our Colorado hospital community is making great strides in supporting breastfeeding for new mothers,” said Dr. Chris Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We know breastfeeding can help prevent childhood obesity and reduce the risk of many childhood illnesses. The majority of new mothers want to breastfeed, and these hospitals play a vital role in giving babies a healthy start.”

Hospitals that receive the award implement five practices: the infant is breastfed the first hour after birth, is fed only breastmilk in the hospital, stays in the same room with the mother in the hospital, doesn’t use a pacifier and hospital staff gives each mother a telephone number to call for help with breastfeeding after being discharged.