Media Release - 03/03/10
Christchurch Women’s Hospital has passed a “rigorous assessment” and been re-accredited as a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) hospital for the third time – a first for a New Zealand tertiary hospital.
Baby Friendly Hospital accreditation is a worldwide initiative to recognise health care facilities that have accomplished high standards in implementing the World Health Organisation’s ‘Steps to Successful Breastfeeding’. Baby Friendly hospitals actively protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding from birth.
“We’re delighted to retain our accreditation,” says Samantha Burke, Director of Midwifery at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. “It is an endorsement by the New Zealand Breastfeeding Authority for our high standard of care and support for women and babies, and also a great source of pride for our staff whose energy and dedication have made the retention of the qualification for the third time possible.”
Christchurch Women’s Hospital was first accredited as a BFHI hospital in 2002. The status is reassessed approximately every three years. Other Canterbury District Health Board hospitals that have achieved three accreditations are Lincoln Maternity Hospital, Rangiora Hospital and the Burwood Birthing Unit. Ashburton Hospital received accreditation in 2007 and Akaroa Hospital in 2009. There are only two other maternity facilities who have achieved accreditation three times and they are both in the North Island.
Julie Stufkens, Executive Officer for New Zealand Breastfeeding Authority says “When we first assessed Christchurch Women’s Hospital in 2001 they had 59% of discharged mothers exclusively breastfeeding. The staff at Christchurch Women’s Hospital have really stepped up and committed themselves to promoting breastfeeding and it currently has a 79% rate of discharged mothers exclusively breastfeeding.”
The accreditation certificate will be presented at Christchurch Women’s Hospital at 10am on Thursday 4 March.
The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are: