SPRINGFIELD — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) presented Mercy Medical Center’s Family Life Center with its 2023 Breastfeeding Achievement Award. Mercy Medical Center is one of 19 hospitals recognized for the maternity-care practice of “providing routine newborn exams, procedures, and care in the mother’s room.” The award recipients were announced recently at the Breastfeeding in the Bay State Conference.
Breastfeeding is recognized by pediatricians as an optimal feeding choice that provides infants a healthy start and helps create a bond between mother and baby. Mercy’s Family Life Center offers breastfeeding support before delivery, during the hospital stay, and after discharge to encourage, teach, and support families who choose to breastfeed. The Family Life Center has also partnered with Nest Collaborative, providing access to international, board-certified lactation consultants who provide online video appointments to help guide parents through the breastfeeding process.
“Mercy’s Family Life Center is committed to providing a comprehensive approach to the birthing process, and this award from DPH is more evidence that we are meeting our goals,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rottenberg, chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Family Life Center. “In addition to our team’s efforts to support breastfeeding, we have also implemented ‘team birth,’ a process that fosters teamwork and communication among all members of the care staff and the woman giving birth to ensure that patients are heard and supported from the time they walk through our doors.”
Earlier this year, Mercy’s Family Life Center was also recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a Bronze Safe Sleep Hospital for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. This achievement credits the facility for following the safe-sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and providing training programs for healthcare team members and safe-sleep education to families and caregivers.