Howard County General Hospital is Named Baby-Friendly

For Immediate Release            
Contact: Sharon Sopp, 410.740.7646, ssopp@jhmi.edu

October 11, 2016

Columbia, Md.—Howard County General Hospital proudly announces its designation as a Baby-Friendly birth facility, an initiative that encourages and recognizes hospitals and birth centers that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. In an effort to provide the best experience for mothers and new babies, HCGH has implemented key education and policy initiatives and adopted best practices set forth by Baby-Friendly USA, such as rooming in and skin-to-skin contact, which allow the family to successfully bond with the new baby. The hospital also supports mothers who choose to formula feed their babies, providing support, information and education about safe formula feeding.

With nearly 3,600 babies born at the hospital each year, Howard County General Hospital is committed to supporting families as they begin life with their new baby. Research indicates that breastfeeding provides benefits to both baby and mother. For baby, it protects against many diseases, including diabetes, obesity and asthma. Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, heart disease osteoporosis and postpartum depression.

While in the hospital, mothers of newborns receive breastfeeding support and education from the lactation consultants and nursing staff. After a family returns home, the hospital’s breastfeeding support groups offer further education, support and encouragement.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

About Howard County General Hospital

Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine is a not-for-profit health care provider with 264 licensed beds located in Columbia, Maryland. A comprehensive, acute-care medical center, Howard County General offers a full range of services, from neonatal care and oncology to outpatient treatment and critical care.

The hospital has a professional staff of more than 900 physicians and allied health professionals, representing more than 90 specialties and subspecialties; a workforce of more than 1,800 individuals and over 300 volunteers.