North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition Presents High Point Medical Center with Golden Bow Award
The Esther R. Culp Women’s Center at High Point Medical Center was recently honored with the Golden Bow Award in recognition of the hospital’s outstanding support of breastfeeding mothers.
The Golden Bow Award was launched in 2007 by the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition (NCBC) to honor hospitals that implement policies promoting breastfeeding, specifically discouraging the distribution of infant formula companies’ marketing bags to new mothers. When NCBC launched the Golden Bow Awards in 2007, less than 20 percent of North Carolina babies were born in facilities that had banned the bags. Today, with the addition of High Point Medical Center, more than 80 percent of babies born in the state are born in “bag-free” facilities.
“High Point Medical Center is dedicated to providing every new mom with the support they need to be successful whether they choose to breastfeed or not,” said Heather Alcivar, lactation consultant at High Point Medical Center. “By eliminating the ‘free gifts’ from formula manufacturers, we are taking one more step to help support breastfeeding moms.”
Nearly three quarters (74.9 percent) of North Carolina mother-baby pairs initiate breastfeeding, but a mere 14.8 percent are exclusively breastfeeding at six months, according to 2013 data from the CDC. Research indicates one reason for the low rate of exclusive breastfeeding is marketing of formula in health care facilities.
Multiple studies show when breastfeeding mothers are given commercial companies’ marketing bags, they are more likely to start using formula – even if the formula samples have been removed from the bags.
High Point Medical Center’s nurses and lactation consultant work as a team to support every mom. Lactation services provided by High Point Medical Center include inpatient consultations, outpatient office visits and breastfeeding classes. In addition, High Point Medical Center hosts Mommy & Me classes which serve as further means of support for new moms.
In order to earn a Golden Bow Award, maternity facilities must demonstrate:
- No commercial infant formula gift bags are distributed.
- All gifts to maternity patients are free of infant formula advertising of all varieties (coupons, samples, infant feeding information published by a formula company, etc.)
- A 24-hour supply of infant formula is given at discharge ONLY if it is left over formula from the baby’s cart and/or is medically indicated by the infant’s health care provider.
For more information on the Golden Bow Award, please visit www.ncbfc.org.