Bon Secours is Recognized for Breastfeeding-Friendly Environments

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

The 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. For the first time, Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital earned five stars – the highest accolade given by the VDH. Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center and Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center were designated with four 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. The five-star program awards a star for every two steps achieved in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

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 to 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.

An awards ceremony will take 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.

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

Get to Know Bon Secours Richmond Health System

Bon Secours Richmond is part of Bon Secours Virginia, which provides compassionate medical care 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 fourth largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, Bon Secours Richmond is a Catholic health ministry that partners with the community to create a more humane world, build health and social justice and serve those who are vulnerable. Bon Secours Richmond provides nearly $130 million in community care through Medicare, Medicaid, charity care and other community benefits.

As one of Richmond’s largest employers, the not-for-profit health system employs more than 9,000 people, including nearly 420 providers as part of the Bon Secours Medical Group. Bon Secours Richmond includes St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital, St. Francis Medical Center, Rappahannock General Hospital and Westchester Emergency Center. The Bon Secours Richmond Health Care Foundation raises charitable funds to help Bon Secours Virginia Health System address the community’s growing health care needs with compassion and excellence.