Oh, Baby!

NorthBay First in Solano to Earn Friendly Status

NorthBay Medical Center is the first hospital in Solano County to earn the prestigious designation as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, it was announced in August. The Fairfield hospital joins only 195 hospitals and birthing centers in the country to have the distinction, said a jubilant Katie Lydon, director of Women’s and Children’s Services. The process to change practices and improve care spanned two years.

A Baby-Friendly Hospital has specially trained staff that educates, encourages and supports breastfeeding moms. It enables mothers to stay with their healthy babies 24 hours a day after delivery and have a full hour of skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth.

“We’ve learned skin-to-skin contact is so important,” explained Lydon. “We know breastfeeding is one of the best things a new mom can do for her baby. So we’ve trained our staff to be able to provide support and education to make the effort successful.”

NorthBay Medical Center has five certified lactation consultants who are available for one-on-one sessions with new moms. The support doesn’t stop there; outpatient support groups and consultations are available after mother and baby leave the hospital.

Less than 8 percent of all mothers and their babies born in the United States receive this special attention at a Baby-Friendly facility.

The hospital team that cares for mothers and babies partnered with the staff of the ABC (A Baby is Coming) prenatal program and the NorthBay Center for Women’s Health to achieve the special status.

“This was an accomplishment earned through the collaboration of countless teams within the system, all in the spirit of doing the right thing for our NorthBay patients—every patient, every encounter, every time,” said Lydon.

NorthBay Healthcare has been a leader in establishing quality care for mothers and babies for more than 25 years, said Rhonda Martin, assistant vice president of nursing operations.

“We established the first and only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Solano County in 1985, and now we’re the first to establish ourselves as a Baby-Friendly Hospital. We have always put the health of mothers and babies first.”

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