DETROIT - Henry Ford Hospital is among 100 hospitals nationwide selected to participate in the EMPower Initiative to enhance maternity care practices and work toward achieving the Baby Friendly USA© designation.
EMPower is a hospital-based quality improvement initiative focused on maternity care practices leading to Baby-Friendly designation. The three year initiative, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is aimed at increasing breastfeeding rates throughout the United States with the ultimate goal of improving public health.
“Breastfeeding provides a healthy jump-start on life for babies and supports a healthier tomorrow for moms” said Marie Bosco, R.N. and certified lactation consultant at Henry Ford Hospital. “We are very excited to continue our pursuit of the Baby Friendly Hospital USA designation with the support of the EMPower Initiative.”
Babies exclusively breastfeed from birth through six months receive optimal nutrition for growth, brain development and protection from illness and disease, according to the World Health Organization. Long-term benefits of breastfeeding include protection against diseases such as asthma, obesity and diabetes.
Additionally, studies have found that women who breastfeed experience a lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease.
As part of this initiative, Henry Ford Hospital will receive ongoing support in breastfeeding practices from experienced coaches, as well as training and resource support in lactation education. The effort supports evidence-based practices for prenatal and maternity settings known as the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, an effort to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that complete the Ten Steps. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, launched in the United States in 1996, designates as “Baby-Friendly” hospitals that meet the criteria for women to initiate and continue with breastfeeding.