YGIA Polyclinic Private Hospital within the context of constant development and upgrading its services with dedication in providing obstetric services, with respect to the mother and the child, is the first private hospital in Cyprus that has started procedures for applying all conditions needed to become the 1st Baby Friendly Hospital in Cyprus.
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is based on the Joint Declaration of the World Health Organization and UNICEF for the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding, according to which a hospital has to meet the conditions in order to gain this accreditation and should apply the 10 steps to Successful Breastfeeding as listed below:
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.
6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
7. Practice rooming-in - allow mothers and infants to remain together - 24 hours a day.
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
For this purpose YGIA Polyclinic has begun seminars for the training of all health professionals dealing with the mother and the infant. These seminars are conducted by a certified lactation educator Dr. Maro Solomon, who has been trained by UNICEF in London “Train the Trainer in Breastfeeding”.
YGIA Polyclinic supporting expectant mothers offers free courses for procreative breastfeeding, educating and informing the advantages and benefits of breastfeeding.
In addition, at YGIA Polyclinic Maternity Department, immediately after childbirth, the mother has the opportunity to welcome the newborn baby by skin to skin in order to connect emotionally. Then efforts are made so that the first breastfeeding begins within half an hour from childbirth. The mothers throughout their stay in the Hospital have the possibility of staying together with their babies (rooming-in). Furthermore, the nursing staff is always there to support the mothers and the babies.
YGIA Polyclinic in an effort to support and present to other Health providers the actions and steps for getting the Baby Friendly Hospital Distinction, has taken part in a training seminar organised by the National Committee of Breastfeeding with a presentation of Mrs. Andri Christofidou, Director of Nursing Care Department, as a speaker, entitled “YGIA Polyclinic in the Path of becoming a Baby Friendly Hospital”.
Breastfeeding is a gift of life. It is the mother’s gift to her newborn infant. Breastfeeding begins immediately after childbirth; in this way the baby learn to properly breastfeed from the first moment and regognises a reliance on the mother for survival. The mother-child rooming-in is highly supportive for the breastfeeding because it helps develop a communication code between the mother and the baby, while offering tranquility, security and protection for the baby.
Advantages of Breastfeeding
1. Antibodies pass from the mother to the infant providing protection from infections.
2. Milk Enzymes and nutritional substances are digested and absorbed easier.
3. It is free of microbes.
4. It is always at the right temperature without preparation
5. Less chance of allergy compared with cow milk.
6. The lactalbumin contained in breast milk may prevent the growth of cancer cells.
7. Children who are breastfed have less of a chance of becoming overweight.
8. It is free.
9. Always has the appropriate temperature.
National Breastfeeding Committee , 4th Seminar for Health Professionals
Author: Androulla Christofidou, Nursing Care Manager