McLeod Regional Medical Center Receives Prestigious International Award


As part of its overall commitment to women’s health and care for expecting mothers, McLeod Regional Medical Center has received prestigious international recognition as a Designated Baby-Friendly® birth facility.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

As a Baby-Friendly hospital, McLeod Regional Medical Center has demonstrated that their policies and practices meet the gold standard for mother/baby care related to breastfeeding.

This designation also indicates that the hospital supports and promotes the importance of mother and infant bonding through skin-to-skin – placing baby on mom’s bare chest soon after delivery – and rooming-in – keeping the baby in the mother’s room during the hospital stay. While these practices promote bonding, skin-to-skin and rooming-in also offer many health benefits to both the mom and her baby.

“Achieving Baby-Friendly designation illustrates the hospital’s commitment to patient and family-centered care,” said Hart Smith, Vice President of Women’s and Children’s Services at McLeod Regional Medical Center. “The mission of Baby-Friendly USA aligns closely with that of McLeod Health as we provide quality care that has been proven to reduce risks to the baby and mother.

“For more than three years, our dedicated Women’s and Children’s teams have worked to improve and enhance the care received by mothers who deliver at McLeod Regional Medical Center, and this designation demonstrates our ongoing dedication to quality and safety,” continued Smith.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently, there are 572 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States and 15 in South Carolina. The “Baby-Friendly” re-designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

In addition to McLeod Regional Medical Center, McLeod Health Dillon is also a Designated Baby-Friendly birth facility.