News Release

Media Contact:

Christina Chavira
Communications Specialist
530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell

Enloe receives prestigious international award
for mother/baby care

CHICO, Calif., Oct. 11, 2011 – Enloe Medical Center is proud to announce that we have received international recognition as a Baby-Friendly® birth facility. This award recognizes birth facilities and hospitals that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. Enloe is the first hospital between Butte County and Oregon to receive this award.

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). This means Enloe is certified under criteria established by the WHO and the UNICEF to provide an optimal environment for the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding. As a Baby-Friendly hospital, we provide families the information and guidance needed to initiate infant feeding and mother baby bonding.

“Each mother comes to us with a personal infant feeding goal. It is our privilege to assist each mother in achieving her goal,” said Enloe's Cathy McLendon, BSN, ISBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). “In California,approximately 90 percent of mothers enter a birthinghospital with the goal of exclusive breastfeeding. Yet by discharge the number of infants being breastfed exclusively drops to approximately 50 percent,” McLendon said. “Most new parents are aware of the profound benefits of breastfeeding for the infant’s and the  mother's health. We can provide the skilled guidance in the beginning to assure success.”

As of Oct. 3, 2011, Enloe became the 119th Baby-Friendly hospital or birth center in the United States. California is leading the way in this initiative, with 42 Baby Friendly hospitals. Within the past year over 90 percent of mothers were breastfeeding upon discharge of the Enloe Mother and Baby Care Center. On average over 75 percent of those were exclusively breastfeeding.  Enloe began the process of becoming a Baby Friendly Hospital in 2004. The journey included education of employees and physicians throughout the hospital and updating policies and procedures.

The "Baby-Friendly" designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey. The global Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative selects hospitals and birthing centers that successfully implement the recommended 10 steps of a comprehensive breastfeeding program, which includes initiating breastfeeding in the first hour of life, keeping mothers and babies in the same room and offering support for women who breastfeed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the 10 steps outlined by the BFHI.

Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of an infant's life has many health benefits for babies and mothers, including a reduction in infectious diseases and mortality during infancy, improved bonding, and mothers’ post-partum weight loss.Breastfeeding also helps reduce the risks of common childhood infections, asthma, diabetes and other conditions. It saves time and money for families in baby formula and medical costs.An estimated $2.16 billion dollars could be saved annually in the United States if women exclusively breastfeed for just 12 weeks after delivery.

To learn about Enloe’s Mother & Baby Care Center, visit


Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at   Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif.  95926.


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