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Woo hoo! I just found out that one of the hospitals in my area (St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, WA) is a Baby Friendly Hospital! I live in a very rural area, and there's only 48 in the US.<br><br>
Here's a list:<br><br><a href="http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/eng/03.html" target="_blank">http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/eng/03.html</a><br><br><br>
Has anyone given birth in a Baby Friendly hospital? Did it live up to the reputation -- was breastfeeding completely encouraged and supported? Were they baby friendly in areas other than breastfeeding (like no circ)?<br><br>
Also, the hospital is about 35 miles from my home - at least a 45 minute drive. Will this be problematic? I really am not thrilled with the hospital that is in town (a five minute drive), but I can imagine poor DH just having a panic attack trying to drive a laboring me to the hospital 45 minutes away.
 

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My local hospital is now Baby Friendly- the team of community midwives that delivered my kids had Baby Friendly status at the time, and were fantastic. Circumcision isn't an issue over here, but the midwives went out of their way for me and really made an effort to get my eldest breastfeeding- coming out at 11.30 at night to help him latch on, supporting, reassuring, and were fantastic and nurturing. I seriously can't praise them enough.<br>
BUT I know a lot of new mums who are coming out with positioning problems, or believing that they have insufficient milk, or with other easily fixable problems. I have half a dozen friends who've given birth recently, and the only one who is exclusively breastfeeding is the one who's on her third child. So somewhere along the lines, standards may have fallen- whether that be the mother or the midwife, I couldn't tell you. (Incidentally, the Baby Feeding Co-ordinator is the midwife who delivered my kids- I trust her to be giving good advice, but obviously she doesn't see everyone.)
 

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I have given birth 3 times at our baby friendly hospital. There are no midwives at ous, but my OB was exceptionally great. The hospital had lots of brestfeeding support - knowledgable nurses, LCs who visit each mom, Bfing support groups, new moms groups. In fact, w/my firstborn I had a c-birth and my milk was slow to come in. I knew nothing about any of this, and was so exhausted from the emergency c- after a long labor (usually a recipe for disaster in BFing), but the nurses & LC got right involved and set me up w/a pump and SNS. We were nursing on our own by the time I left the hospital.<br><br>
Also, we roomed in and did not circ - both fully supported.<br><br>
I loved my hospital stay, everyone was so amazing. I would have stayed even longer!<br><br>
Good luck w/your birth.
 

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With DD we planned on a baby friendly "hospital" (actually a midwifery) but got transfered for bogus reason (so obviously not mother friendly <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ).<br><br>
We had a homebirth for our second, so didn't use a hospital, but there is one nearby (Kirkland, WA) and everyone I have talked to has really liked it. Good LCs, they use cloth diapers, etc... One friend circ'd there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: but I don't think it's that big of deal in WA (since the west coast is under 35% circ'd at this point).
 

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I haven't used one, but I know of the one TiredX2 is talking about, my friend gave birth there twice. I'm not terribly impressed with her experience, but I don't know how much of it was her vs the support she got. With her first child, she had terrible time with breastfeeding, cracked nipples etc. They scheduled her for an appointment with a lactation consultant a week after she called and by the time she saw her the LC told her it was too late they couldn't correct his latch, etc.<br><br>
She had a similar experience with this recent baby in which she came out of the hospital with the baby not latching well (and she told me the nurses said she has a shallow latch - so they clearly knew something was wrong) she did seem to get things corrected but more by accident than on purpose (she claims starting her baby on a bottle of pumped bm corrected her latch), etc.<br><br>
I don't feel comfortable grilling this friend on her experience, so I don't know for sure how much of it was her shrugging off the help or what, but considering she's waht I'd consider a typical mainstream Mom (She wants to breastfeed, will give it a good try, willing to put up with a few weeks of hardship, but not much more, but doesn't proactively educate herself on what she's doing or line up support beforehand) I was pretty dissappointed by the lack of education/support the 'baby friendly hospital' gave her.
 
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