UVMC recognized by Ohio First Steps

TROY — Upper Valley Medical Center, along with the other Premier Health hospitals, is taking steps to promote its support of successful breastfeeding. The Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies is a voluntary breastfeeding designation program through the Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Department of Health that recognizes maternity centers in Ohio for taking steps to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding in their organization.

In partnership with the Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance and the Ohio Lactation Consultants Association, the Ohio First Steps program is recognizing facilities with the “Maternity Care Best Practice Award” for 2015. This recognition indicates a facility’s commitment to best practices by choosing to not distribute infant formula or formula company-sponsored sample packs.

In addition to this commitment, UVMC is providing information and hospital practices supportive of breastfeeding and the Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies program. These resources are available at www.ohiohospitals.org/bagfree2015.

“It is our hope that Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies will prompt conversations about the benefits of breastfeeding in order to educate patients and the community,” said Teri Gulker, director of nursing for UVMC Women’s and Children’s Services. “The support a new mother receives from hospital caregivers can impact her decision to breastfeed. Increasing the number of breastfed newborns can lead to a decrease in the likelihood for future health conditions for the child such as asthma, diabetes and obesity.”

For more information about Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies, visit, http://ohiohospitals.org/ohiofirststeps.