Cleveland, OH,
06:00 AM

We’re joining Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies to support new moms


Any mom will tell you: Becoming a parent is never easy. That’s why we’re committed to making sure women, and their babies, are given the best shot at success as they start life together.

We’re teaming up with the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Department of Health to participate in Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies. The program recognizes maternity centers across Ohio taking steps to promote and support breastfeeding.

So far, we’ve started several initiatives to make sure our staff and patients know how key breastfeeding is to a new baby’s development. We have a breastfeeding policy to make sure all health care staff stay up-to-date. Additionally, providers in labor and delivery, obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, med-peds and pediatrics go through yearly training to make sure they’re experts in breastfeeding and its benefits. We also help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of giving birth. That crucial first contact sets the stage for later success as moms continue to feed their babies.

Our support doesn’t stop after moms deliver. Once they leave the hospital, we invite all moms to join one of our breastfeeding support groups to stay in touch with other women and babies in similar situations. Sandi Hoch, a childbirth education coordinator who is leading our efforts, says this follow-up is especially crucial. “If a mom sees that we participate, it’s an indicator of how committed we are to helping mothers be successful in helping them breastfeed,” she explains.

To us, participating in Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies is more than another name for doing the right thing. The benefits are real. Breastfed newborns demonstrate improved health, both right away and long term. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes and obesity. And, maybe most importantly, breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

To learn more about Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies, or for more information about the benefits of breastfeeding, click here.