15:12 PM

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest Earns Baby-Friendly Hospital Distinction

Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest recently earned the distinction Baby-Friendly Hospital from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Baby-Friendly distinction recognizes LVH’s commitment and support for breastfeeding as the optimum nutritional choice for babies during the first six months of life.

To earn a place among the nation’s Baby-Friendly hospitals, LVH–Cedar Crest demonstrated its resolve to helping mothers attain the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to initiate and sustain breastfeeding.

“Being named a WHO Baby-Friendly Hospital continues our legacy as a provider of quality health care,” says Mary Bianchi, LVHN Vice President, Women and Children’s Service Line. “We provide support and education for all women so they understand the unique benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding. No matter what feeding method a woman chooses, we will respect her choice.”

Breastfeeding is widely recognized as the best nutrition for infant growth and development due to the essential nutrients found in a mother’s breast milk. It offers many benefits for both critically ill and healthy newborns that are not found in infant formulas. Breastfeeding also offers many health benefits to moms.

Support in the hospital and once you go home

The Baby-Friendly USA hospital recognition means LVH-Cedar Crest provides education and support for mothers that includes:

  • Skin-to-skin time with your newborn in the moments after birth and during your hospital stay to promote bonding and initiate breastfeeding.

  • Specially trained International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) and nursing staff who provide education and one-on-one assistance to initiate breastfeeding in the hospital.

  • The option to room-in with your baby to promote mother-baby bonding to help you recognize and respond to each other’s smells and cues; a supportive environment to promote optimal rest for recovering moms; and coordinated care for both of you from LVH’s exceptional Magnet® recognized nursing staff.

  • Lactation support from IBCLC consultants and lactation counselors through two Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) Obstetrics and Gynecology practices once you are discharged home to help sustain breastfeeding longer.

  • Parenting education and breastfeeding support groups that provide emotional and social support on your breastfeeding journey.

“Evidence shows that breastfeeding is better for both mom and her baby,” says Jennifer Silva, RN, Administrator, Clinical Services Nursing Administration. “It’s the gold-standard of care so babies can get the absolute best start in life.”

Free Prenatal Education Classes

Preparing for the birth of a new baby is one of life’s most precious events. Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offers education and support for families as they get ready for their new arrival, so babies can get the best start possible. Many of the health network’s parenting education classes are now free of charge for patients – and their family members – who choose to deliver at the Family Birth and Newborn Centers at LVH–Cedar Crest or LVH–Muhlenberg.

Classes include:

  • Preparing for childbirth

  • Baby care

  • Breastfeeding

  • Car seat checks

  • Maternity and sibling tours

  • Grandparenting workshop

To register, visit LVHN.org/raisingafamily or call 888-402-LVHN.