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Breastfeeding Support Earns WMC Four Stars!

Breastfeeding Support Earns WMC Four Stars!

The Winchester Medical Center (WMC) Women & Children’s team works to promote infant health one baby at a time. Our focus on breastfeeding was recently recognized with FOUR STARS by the Virginia Department of Health’s Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation Program for its partnership with Virginia Maternity Center Quality Improvement Collaborative, which follows the World Health Organization’s model for promoting breastfeeding as the "gold standard" in infant nutrition. Congratulations!

Human breast milk is not only the ideal food for infants and young children, but it is the only food that infants need for the first six months of life. The staff in the Mother/Baby Unit at WMC, including physicians, nurses, lactation consultants and other team members, are passionate about providing new moms (and dads!) with resources and information for breastfeeding success. Lactation consultants visit with moms during their hospital stay to ensure that they and their babies get off to a good start, and the unit offers rooming-in to facilitate bonding during breastfeeding and other mother-baby contact. Staff is also able to provide information about local breastfeeding support groups, such as the La Leche League, so parents have the opportunity to expand their network of support.

Parents are encouraged to visit the Valley Health Maternal Services website—both before and after birth. During pregnancy, parents should consider attending breastfeeding classes, offered onsite at WMC and Warren Memorial Hospital. Upcoming sessions include Breastfeeding: What to Expect in the First Weeks, Breastfeeding in the First Year, and How to Buy the Right Nursing Bra. Some classes are also available online; click here for complete class listing.

And VHS Babies, Valley Health’s new pregnancy app, was rolled out earlier this year, providing expectant parents with tools and trackers, resources, and other helpful info on pregnancy, child birth, breastfeeding…and more. (VHS Babies fun fact: Your baby is the size of a sweet potato at 18 weeks!)

At Valley Health, expectant parents are offered a wealth of educational resources and the support of passionate breastfeeding advocates on our staff, so it’s no wonder our breastfeeding program met the rigorous criteria required by the Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation Program. Advancing infant health and providing exceptional maternity care services are priorities…and another way Valley Health serves its youngest patients and their devoted parents.