Press Releases: Southern California
May 11, 2012
Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly® Designation
12 Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Centers have achieved Baby-Friendly status since 2010
HARBOR CITY, Calif. — Baby Friendly USA® has named Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center a Baby Friendly® hospital, because of its commitment to offering an optimal level of care to mothers with regards to infant feeding. The prestigious, internationally recognized designation was awarded following a rigorous on-site accreditation visit conducted earlier this year.
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is part of a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. The initiative recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that give mothers the encouragement, confidence, information and skills necessary to successfully initiate and sustain breastfeeding or formula feeding safely to infants.
“We want every newborn to have a healthy start through breastfeeding,” says Jamie Renslo, MD, chief of service, obstetrics and gynecology, Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center. “That’s why we’re committed to educating all mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, which can include a decreased risk of diarrhea, respiratory and ear infections, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and allergic skin disorders. In addition, mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfeeding reduces the risk of becoming overweight or obese in childhood and adolescence. The likelihood of a child becoming overweight declines with each month that they were breastfed as an infant. In the U.S., one in five preschoolers is overweight, and half of those are obese. Though most babies are breastfed their first week, half are then given formula, and by nine months, only 31 percent of babies are breastfed at all. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be fed only breast milk for the first six months and that breastfeeding continue for at least one year.
There are now 12 out of 14 Kaiser Permanente Southern California medical centers with Baby-Friendly status, a notable achievement, as nationally there are only 129 facilities that have been given this distinction. The two remaining medical centers, Kaiser Permanente Ontario Medical Center and Moreno Valley Community Hospital, are expected to achieve Baby Friendly status by 2013.
Baby-Friendly USA is the national authority for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States. For more information, visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 3.5 million members in Southern California. Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills currently serves about 200,000 members in the West San Fernando Valley and Ventura County. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.