HealthEast Hospitals Designated "Baby-Friendly"

ST. PAUL, MN--(Marketwired - Aug 19, 2014) - HealthEast is pleased to announce that the HealthEast hospitals -- St. Joseph's, St. John's and Woodwinds Hospitals -- have received national certification as Baby‐Friendly birth facilities. Baby-friendly is a symbol for optimal care for mothers and their babies, optimal infant nutrition and mother‐baby bonding. This certification is a rare achievement; only 7.6% of hospitals in the U.S. have this certification. HealthEast is the first health care system in Minnesota to receive this designation.

"This special recognition ensures our patients along with their babies will experience the best maternity care practices at all of our HealthEast hospitals," said Jeanette Schwartz, RN, Woodwinds Maternity Clinical Director. "We have worked for more than two years toward this designation of excellence. The journey has been exciting, challenging and worth it." The Baby-Friendly initiative was chaired by Schwartz, Linda Johnson, RN, CLC, Maternity Care Patient Education and Lactation Coordinator and Carol Busman, MS, RN, IBCLC, CNS-BC, Clinical Nurse Specialist Maternity Care Center. 

Baby-Friendly means:

  • Mother to baby skin-to-skin contact right after birth, promoting bonding and health benefits.
  • Patient-centered breast-feeding support and education along with a dignity and respect for all feeding options.
  • Rooming-in, where babies are together in mom's room learning about feeding cues and sights and smells of mom.

Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, postpartum depression and other health problems. Breastfed babies have significantly lower rates of diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory infections, diabetes and obesity.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). HealthEast Care System supports initiatives of the WHO and UNICEF in promotion of breastfeeding as a healthier choice for our patients.

About HealthEast:  HealthEast is an integrated, non-profit health care organization of Minnesota's top-rated hospitals, clinics, outpatient services, home care, transportation and other holistic health services, which has a rich history of caring for generations of families in the Twin Cities East Metro for more than a century and is focused on optimal health and well-being for our patients, our communities and ourselves.

Contact Information:

Stephanie Sorensen
HealthEast Communications/Public Relations Intern

Phone: 651-470-2002