Announcing a new arrival!

The internationally known Best Fed Beginnings Program is assisting Inova Alexandria Hospital and 89 other hospitals nationwide to obtain what they call “Baby-Friendly” status.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It celebrates hospitals such as Inova Alexandria Hospital that have created policies and practices that help parents choose how they feed and care for their babies and, specifically, create the best possible environment for successful breastfeeding.

We support breastfeeding

Inova Alexandria Hospital practices the following guidelines in an effort to create the most successful environment for breastfeeding.

Skin to skin

All newborns will be dried with a blanket at birth and immediately placed skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest until the first breastfeeding or for the first hour.

This practice helps keep the baby warm and makes beginning breastfeeding easier. Newborns naturally move toward their mother’s breast.

Rooming in

In the beginning, babies need to eat frequently because they have small stomachs. Inova Alexandria Hospital will encourage new moms to keep their babies with them at night so that they can breastfeed “on demand” or whenever baby wants to eat.

More support

If you want to breastfeed, lactation consultants will come to your room to help you. A breastfeeding class is held each day at 10 a.m. where you can join other mothers to learn how to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is important!

Breast milk provides all the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs.

Breastfed babies have less:

  • Respiratory and ear infections
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Risk of SIDS
  • Doctors visits

Mothers who breastfeed have less:

  • Post-partum hemorrhage
  • Post-partum depression
  • Cancers, such as breast and endometrial
  • Lost work-time

Baby friendly 10 step criteria

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy
  • Train all healthcare staff on breastfeeding policy
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding
  • Initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth
  • Shows mothers how to breastfeed, even if separated from her infant
  • Give infants no food or drink except breast milk unless medically indicated
  • Practice “rooming in”
  • Breastfeed on demand
  • No pacifiers
  • Refer all breastfeeding mothers to breastfeeding support groups at discharge