How mothers and babies are supported in Mediclinic City Hospital?
Mediclinic City Hospital is the 1st Baby- Friendly designated private hospital in Dubai.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies through increasing breastfeeding rates.
Baby Friendly initiative supports all the families regardless of their choice of feeding method.
The “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” was introduced as a guideline for the hospitals to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The aim is to empower mothers by educating them and giving them the confidence and necessary skills to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding. This will help mothers to make breastfeeding a more positive experience, prevent breastfeeding difficulties and promote long and short term health benefits for mothers and babies.
Evidence-based research has revealed many health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. Breastfeeding provides a complete and ideal source of nutrition for infants up to six months of age and continues to be important after the first six months after other foods are introduced. It helps babies to develop their immune system and reduces their less risk of developing diseases. Research has also shown that it can improve the baby’s intelligence and brain development. Similarly, Breastfeeding also help mothers to recover from child birth more quickly and reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes. Breastfeeding is convenient, saves time and money, always ready at the right temperature and clean. Breastfeeding creates special bonding between mother and baby. Breastfeeding mothers are more confident and relax.
The education and support for mothers start with communication on the importance of breastfeeding in early pregnancy for them to make the best decision how they want to feed their babies. The support continues all through their baby’s birth, hospital stay and follow-up in the lactation clinic after they go home.
Once baby is born, we facilitate skin to skin contact between mother and baby which keeps both mother and baby calm and they start getting to know each other through all the senses. It also makes the baby alert and ready to initiate breastfeeding within first one hour after birth. Skin to skin contact right after birth is at the heart of baby friendly initiative and an essential part of our standards and it provides a better start of life for their babies.
Due to its commitment to excellence, the figures show that more than 93% of new mothers at Mediclinic City Hospital initiate skin to skin and breastfeeding within the first hour after birth and chose to breastfeed exclusively. All healthy babies are kept with their mothers in the same room during their stay in the hospital and encouraged to continue rooming-in at home for the first year of life, as globally recommended. We promote responsive feeding and help mothers to recognize their baby’s feeding cues and to respond to it on time. This will create a loving and nurturing environment for the better development of baby.
The health benefits related to breastfeeding is the biggest preference that families choose to deliver at our hospital. Evidences show that babies born in a Baby Friendly hospital has higher chance of being breastfed.
Baby Friendly hospital initiative shows the commitment of the hospital to deliver Excellency of services to the patients as well as caring about the public health issues as they provide the best start of life for newborns and continue supporting mothers and babies to meet their breastfeeding goals and have the health benefits of breastfeeding.