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2010 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Receives "Baby-Friendly" Status From World Health Organization/UNICEF

CLEARWATER, Fla. (November 15, 2010) -- Morton Plant Hospital has been re-designated with "Baby-Friendly" status from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).  In order to achieve "Baby-Friendly" status, the hospital demonstrated its ability to offer breastfeeding mothers the information, skills and support needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.  The hospital received initial designation in 2003.

"Morton Plant Hospital has always been recognized as a facility that supports a mother's decision to breastfeed," said Marcia Albanese, director of women and children's service development for Morton Plant Mease Healthcare.  "A Baby-Friendly facility focuses on the needs of the newborns and empowers mothers to give their infant the best possible start in life.  It encourages and helps women to successfully initiate and continue to breastfeed their babies.  "The hospital offers educational classes for expectant moms to post-delivery and beyond. In addition, there are weekly support groups for moms nursing infants.  With the philosophy, education and support in place, Morton Plant has increased the percentage of women successfully breastfeeding from 63% in 1991 to 85% in 2010.

A maternity facility can be designated "Baby-Friendly" when it does not accept free or low-cost breastmilk substitutes, feeding bottles or teats, and has implemented 10 specific steps to support successful breastfeeding.

The 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:

•1.      A written breastfeeding policy routinely communicated to all health care staff.

•2.      Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.

•3.      Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

•4.      Help all mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

•5.      Show mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.

•6.      Give newborn infants only breastmilk, unless medically indicated.

•7.      Practice rooming-in by allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.

•8.      Encourage unrestricted breastfeeding on cue.

•9.      Give no artificial nipples or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.

•10.  Foster establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), launched in 1991, is an effort by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to ensure that all maternities, whether free standing or in a hospital, become centers of breastfeeding support.  Since the program started, over 16,000 facilities worldwide in 134 countries have received the Baby-Friendly designation.   

About Morton Plant Hospital

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility. Our commitment to improving the health of everyone we serve is reflected in our community partnerships and many honors. Morton Plant is the only hospital in the United States to have been awarded Top 100 Hospital designations by the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success for all 11 years. Morton Plant also has partnered with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient's lifetime. With more than 195 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. 

BayCare's family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Hospital-North, St. Joseph's Women's, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at


Contact: Communications

Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager

Denise Moore (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager