Loyola Earns Baby-Friendly Designation | News | Loyola Medicine
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Loyola earns prestigious Baby-Friendly designation

Distinction recognizes hospital for efforts to support breast-feeding among new mothers

MAYWOOD, Ill. (January 22, 2015) – Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC) has earned the coveted Baby-Friendly designation. This verifies that the hospital has implemented the ten steps to help new mothers successfully breastfeed.

Loyola is the only academic medical center in the Chicago area with this distinction and one of 232 hospitals and birthing centers nationwide.  

"Loyola is proud of this elite designation and the work we have accomplished to support a new mother’s choice to breastfeed," said Pam Allyn, BSN, RN, LCCE, IBCLC, board certified lactation consultant, LUMC. "We know the efforts of our physicians, nurses and staff will help to protect the health of our new moms and their infants."

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program that was launched in 1991 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nationals Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother-baby bonding. 

Breastfeeding has several health benefits for both infants and mothers. Breastfed children have far fewer and less serious illnesses than those who never receive breast milk. This includes a reduced risk of SIDS, childhood cancers and diabetes. Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers, anemia and osteoporosis. 

Although breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers, exclusive breastfeeding rates are low. According to the CDC, only 76.5 percent of babies are ever breastfed. Of those, 37.7 percent are exclusively breastfeeding at three months, 16.4 percent are exclusively breastfeeding at six months. Breastfeeding rates are lowest among poor socio-economic populations.

Loyola set out to reverse this trend and to better support a new mother’s choice to breastfeed. The organization took a multidisciplinary approach to implement steps to successfully help mothers breastfeed including: educating pregnant women on the benefits of breastfeeding; helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth; showing mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants; and educating mothers about the use of pacifiers or bottles when not medically necessary.  

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.