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BARSTOW, CALIF. (April 1, 2024) Calif. — Barstow Community Hospital (BCH) has once again achieved the highly prestigious international “Baby-Friendly” designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States. The designation recognizes hospitals that encourage and promote breastfeeding and mother-baby bonding. Barstow Community Hospital earned its first Baby-Friendly USA designation in 2007 and has successfully been re-designated several times. The current re-designation is in effect through 2029.

“We are very proud and delighted that our team has been once again recognized with this distinction,” said Adam Loris, Chief Executive Officer of Barstow Community Hospital. “This designation is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that every patient is given the resources, information and support needed, should they choose to breastfeed.”

This distinguished honor demonstrates BCH’s ongoing adherence to the highest standards of care for individuals who choose to breastfeed and their babies. According to the American Pediatric Association exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months after birth provides an optimal source of nutrition for babies. The Baby-Friendly 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 infant feeding support in the first days of a newborn’s life.

“The hospital experience strongly influences an individual’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding,” said Cathy Stephens, Director of Obstetrical Services at BCH. “We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation to ensure that those delivering at Barstow Community Hospital who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported. Our Baby-Friendly re-designation is a wonderful achievement resulting from years of hard work and dedication to provide quality family-centered care. Our team is proud to offer an environment that supports individuals who choose to breastfeed and are committed to helping them achieve success.”

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide, more than 600 of which are in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the “Ten Steps of Breastfeeding” as demonstrated by quality processes.