Kaiser Permanente Supports 20th Annual World Breastfeeding Week Through its Baby-Friendly Hospital

August 1, 2012 — It’s been 20 years since the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) launched its first World Breastfeeding Week campaign, and Kaiser Permanente has long been a strong supporter of the health benefits of breastfeeding. From prenatal care, through labor and delivery, and into the pediatric relationship, Kaiser Permanente encourages breastfeeding through education and coaching.

“Breastfeeding is natural, but some moms do have some difficulty initially,” said Wendy Fery, RN, an inpatient lactation specialist at Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center. “Sometimes just some very simple tips, techniques, can help overcome some of these initial difficulties.”

Fery says breast milk has active enzymes and hormones that can help
protect babies from infectious diseases. “It’s considered one of baby’s first immunizations,” she said. Fery says mothers build up their own immunities to disease that they pass on to their children through breastfeeding.

The first WABA effort in 1992 centered around the Baby-Friendly Hospital campaign, and Kaiser Permanente is proud that its Sunnyside Medical Center has earned that Baby-Friendly designation. Doctors say Kaiser Permanente also supports breastfeeding by keeping mother and baby in the same room after delivery. That initial bonding and practice raise the breastfeeding success rate.

Kaiser Permanente will have another state-of-the art labor and delivery unit at its new Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro, set to open in August 2013. Leaders are confident this new facility will also earn the Baby-Friendly honor.

As Kaiser Permanente supports World Breastfeeding Week, Fery is quick to point out that “every week is breastfeeding week!”

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