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The Gap Narrows:

Baby-Friendly Hospitals on the Rise!


As we celebrate the upcoming holidays and consider the vulnerable young mother who gave birth in a stable 2,000 years ago, it is fitting that an amazing announcement was made this week. 


The national CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices) project reports that Mississippi, the state with historically low breastfeeding rates, achieved a monumental milestone. Eighteen hospitals have now been officially designated as “Baby-Friendly Hospitals” by Baby-Friendly USA. This means 40% of the state’s hospitals are certified, and over HALF of all babies born in Mississippi are now born in certified hospitals. Nationwide, the number of Baby-Friendly designated hospitals reached 600. And the momentum continues!


What does this mean? It means that more babies than ever before now begin life outside the womb in a facility that fully supports a woman’s infant feeding decisions by following The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. It means babies are born in facilities that follow evidence-based practices that remove obstacles that make it hard for women to successfully breastfeed. It means all women, no matter their race, ethnicity, or income level, can now access consistent quality care that helps them reach their goals.


Already the infant mortality rates have begun to decline as breastfeeding rates go up. As more hospitals make it possible for moms to leave the hospital confident in their ability to breastfeed, we should see even fewer vulnerable babies dying from diseases and illnesses that can be prevented by breastfeeding.  


Congratulations to Mississippi hospitals that are paving the way and  setting a high bar for States everywhere! If you’re a mom, ASK if your hospital is designated. If you are a healthcare provider, learn more! Visit the CHAMPS website and the Baby-Friendly USA site.  

Cathy Carothers, Co-Director

Every Mother Inc.

[email protected]




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