The central goal of the Baby-Friendly initiative is to promote breastfeeding. As a result, we provide new mothers with optimal care, information, and instruction so they can successfully breastfeed their babies.
Our Baby-Friendly hospitals, Central Maine Medical Center and Bridgton Hospital, achieved this designation in recent years. By being “baby-friendly,” it means that we have gone the extra steps to meet guidelines including comprehensive training of our team members.
The Baby-Friendly initiative was started because of extensive medical research that shows that breastfeeding promotes good health throughout life, for babies and nursing mothers.
As part of our Baby-Friendly practices, we have 24-hour rooming in, where baby stays in your room throughout your stay so that you learn about your new baby’s feeding cues. We strive to promote mother-infant bonding. We encourage skin-to-skin care, a practice that enhances bonding and encourages more feeds between mother and baby. We also recognize that not all new mothers will be able to breastfeed – be assured that we are here to assist you with formula feeding, as well.
If you have never breastfed a baby, our nurses are skilled at basic breastfeeding assistance and lactation consultants will provide follow-up care to ensure that mom and baby are doing well. We can show you how best to hold your baby, how to help him/her latch on, and how to express milk. As a Baby-Friendly hospital, we offer numerous and free resources to help breastfeeding moms. Check our Childbirth Education Events Calendar for information about breastfeeding classes, and our breastfeeding support group. And after you leave to go home, remember, our lactation consultants are just a phone call away.
We also offer breastfeeding classes that are open to any expectant mother who is considering breastfeeding her baby. Women who attend are strongly encouraged to bring their support person to the class. Topics covered in the class include the benefits of breastfeeding, skills and techniques during the first days of breastfeeding, and breast care.