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MCCG Selected for Baby-Friendly Initiative Project

MCCG Selected for Baby-Friendly Initiative Project

The Medical Center of Central Georgia Seeks 5-STAR Designation 

MACON, GA (Wednesday, March 20, 2013) – The Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG) is pleased to announce that it has been chosen to participate in Georgia's Baby-Friendly 5-STAR Initiative Project, sponsored by the Georgia SHAPE Initiative in partnership with the Georgia Department of Health (DPH).

Baby-Friendly Hospitals® promote and support breastfeeding through supportive policies and practices, staff education and post-discharge community referrals. To achieve 5-STAR designation, MCCG must implement maternity care practices known as The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. One star will be awarded to MCCG for every two steps implemented.

The 5-STAR Initiative Project is funded by a grant from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will provide training, technical assistance and financial support to MCCG and other hospitals throughout the state that are already making significant progress toward promoting successful breastfeeding. Through the project, MCCG will become part of a collaborative network of nine hospital teams working together to achieve Baby-Friendly® designation.

MCCG is already on its way to achieving this coveted designation. By hosting monthly breastfeeding classes through the Beginnings program, a service of The Family Birth Center at MCCG, employed lactation consultants seek to help the community better understand the benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and families. In the upcoming months, MCCG will assess the educational needs of staff and the need for designated breast feeding rooms in the hospital.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, human breast milk is preferred for all infants, including those who are sick or premature. Evidence suggests that babies who are breastfed exclusively for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, stomach viruses, respiratory illnesses and meningitis. Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop illnesses later in life, including high cholesterol, allergies, diabetes, childhood cancers and childhood obesity.

According to the DPH, Georgia currently ranks 43rd in the U.S. for breastfeeding care delivered in maternity facilities. The DPH seeks to increase breastfeeding rates in order to reduce the childhood obesity rate. One in five children in Georgia is classified as obese.