Forrest General Hospital Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation

Published 10:17 am Thursday, December 30, 2021

HATTIESBURG, MS (December 29, 2021) – Forrest General Hospital is proud to announce that its Family Birthplace has achieved the highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation once again. A rigorous review process was conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.

Forrest General was the first hospital in Mississippi to achieve Baby-Friendly designation, which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. The designation requires recertification every five years and requires the monitoring of quality indicators annually.

“We are proud to once again be recognized with this Baby-Friendly designation,” said Millie Swan, vice president. “At Forrest General, we want to do everything we can to help mothers and their newborns have a positive experience during their first days together.”

This distinguished honor demonstrates that Forrest General Hospital is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.

The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. For example, the Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”

Forrest General joins a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 590 of which are in the United States. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized for the hard work of our team members throughout the Baby-Friendly process,” said Tangela Jackson, director, Women and Children’s Services. “Our Family Birthplace is committed to providing the support, education and resources moms need to successfully initiate breastfeeding and continue breastfeeding when they leave our care.”

About Forrest General Hospital’s Family Birthplace

The Family Birthplace was designed with the expectant mother and her family’s priorities in mind. Expectant mothers will also experience the difference of The Family Birthplace’s specialized staff, who are solely dedicated to the care and well-being of mother, baby and family. Larger rooms encourage family bonding while allowing staff to continue providing family-centered patient care. Mothers and newborns remain together for the entire hospital stay which enhances bonding. For more information, visit forresthealth/org.

About Baby-Friendly USA

As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at www.babyfriendlyusa.org.