Published on August 07, 2020

Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Re-Designation

Brainerd, MN (August 7, 2020) – Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center is proud to announce that it has achieved the highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly Re-Designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.

This distinguished honor demonstrates that Family Birthplace at Essentia Health - St. Joseph’s Medical Center is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.

The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. For example, the Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”

The Family Birthplace at Essentia Health - St. Joseph’s Medical Center joins a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 604 of which are in the United States. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

“This designation is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that every woman who delivers a baby at our facility is given the resources, information and support needed to help her and her baby get the best, healthiest start in life,” said Dr. Alicia Prahm, Board-Certified OB/GYN.

As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at www.babyfriendlyusa.org.

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