Virginia Department of Health Awards Bon Secours Hospitals with Breastfeeding-Friendly Designations

Bon Secours Hospitals with Breastfeeding-Friendly DesignationsThe Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has recognized three Bon Secours Richmond hospitals with a Virginia Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation for their efforts in implementing policies and practices that support a breastfeeding-friendly environment for patients. Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital and Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center were the only two hospitals on the list designated with four stars. Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center was designated with three stars.

The designation is based on the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These steps support initiation, exclusivity and continuation of breastfeeding.

An awards ceremony took place at the annual in-person learning session of the Virginia Maternity Care Quality Improvement Collaborative. The Collaborative works with Virginia’s birth facilities on quality improvement in maternity care practices to protect, promote and support safe and effective infant feeding and care.

Bon Secours offers lactation consultants who are specially trained and certified to assist mothers with breastfeeding preparation and learning successful breastfeeding skills. They can often make the difference for a positive, long-lasting breastfeeding experience. Rooming-In allows families to keep their baby with them throughout their stay in the hospital.  Evidence shows that Rooming-In has many benefits including better breastfeeding, early response to hunger cues, higher milk production, increased confidence in going home, safe sleep practice, and more sleep for everyone.

In an effort to enhance bonding between parents and newborns and support breastfeeding, Bon Secours practices “Magic Hour.” Barring any unusual medical needs immediately following delivery, nurses dry infants and place them skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest, allowing precious time for bonding and breastfeeding. Breastfed babies will nurse better when placed skin-to-skin on the mother immediately following birth.

To learn more about Bon Secours labor and delivery options, visit:

Bon Secours Richmond
Bon Secours Richmond is part of Bon Secours Virginia, which provides good help to thousands of Virginians through a network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, ambulatory care sites and continuing care facilities across the Commonwealth. The not-for-profit health system employs more than 8,400 people, including nearly 420 providers as part of the Bon Secours Medical Group.