MARIANNA, Fla (WMBB)– A local hospital has received a prestigious award from the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The hospital began its journey to receiving the award four years ago.
Jackson Hospital in Marianna has received the ‘Baby-Friendly’ designation. The ‘Baby-Friendly’ initiative was a global effort launched by the World Health Organization and UNICEF to enforce practices that promote and support breastfeeding for all mothers.
Jackson Hospital’s maternal unit embarked on the journey to become a ‘Baby-Friendly’ hospital in August of 2015.
The hospital’s maternal unit says that although they are a small department, they are doing big things.
“We had a lot of changes we had to endure. We had to develop a breast feeding policy. We used to have only one paragraph, now we have a 14-page policy on breastfeeding,” said Melanie Sellers, Director of Women Services for Jackson Hospital.
The hospital had to complete a ten-step program. They also received an evaluation from the World Health Organization. Sellers says the rigorous preparation took a lot of hard work.
“We did a lot of education on the staffs part, a lot of education for our patients, and a lot of education in the community because we want to make sure that our patients are consistently getting the same information on breastfeeding,” Sellers said.
Nurses in the maternal department say this award is only the beginning.
“We’re making lots of changes in our labor and delivery unit just to better fit our moms and give them the things they want. More natural deliveries, more intervention free deliveries and so for me I’ve seen the nursing staff embrace that with open arms,” said Jordan Miles, a Certified Nurse/Mid-Wife for Jackson Hospital.
The hospital will be recognized as a ‘Baby friendly’ facility until 2024, then they will undergo a reevaluation.