NCDHHS Awards 14 Facilities With Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation | Beaufort County Now | The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health today announced 14 medical facilities have been awarded the North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Press Release:

    RALEIGH     The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health today announced 14 medical facilities have been awarded the North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation. The designation is based on the World Health Organization's Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which support initiation, exclusivity and continuation of breastfeeding.

    "Maternity center practices can influence breastfeeding outcomes, including breastfeeding initiation and duration rates," said Dr. Kelly Kimple, Women's and Children's Health Section Chief, DPH. "We are pleased to recognize the efforts that our maternity centers have implemented to promote and support breastfeeding for North Carolina families."

    The following facilities were designated for their efforts in implementing policies and practices that support a breastfeeding-friendly environment:

  • 5 Stars
    • Atrium Health Pineville (formerly Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville)
    • Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center
    • Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center
    • Novant Health Matthews Medical Center
    • Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center
    • Novant Health Rowan Medical Center
  • 4 Stars
    • Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center
    • Vidant Duplin Hospital
    • Vidant Roanoke Chowan Hospital
    • WakeMed Cary Hospital
    • WakeMed North Hospital
    • WakeMed Raleigh Hospital
  • 3 Stars
    • Catawba Valley Medical Center
    • UNC Health Southeastern (formerly Southeastern Health)

    Participating facilities in North Carolina earn a star for every two steps implemented from the Ten Steps. The North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation is valid for a period of three years, and facilities that implement additional steps may re-apply for a higher star level at any time. This initiative promotes a continuum of quality improvement and is endorsed by the North Carolina Healthcare Association and the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force.

    The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:

  1. Comply fully with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly resolutions.
    1. Have a written infant feeding policy that is routinely communicated to staff and parents.
    2. Establish ongoing monitoring and data-management systems.
  2. Ensure that staff have sufficient knowledge, competence and skills to support breastfeeding.
  3. Discuss the importance and management of breastfeeding with pregnant women and their families.
  4. Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth.
  5. Support mothers to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and manage common difficulties.
  6. Do not provide breastfed newborns any food or fluids other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Enable mothers and their infants to remain together and to practice rooming-in 24 hours a day.
  8. Support mothers to recognize and respond to their infants' cues for feeding.
  9. Counsel mothers on the risks of feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers.
  10. Coordinate discharge so that parents and their infants have timely access to ongoing support and care.

    In January 2011, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., released The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, which included the Health Care Action Step to "ensure that maternity care practices throughout the United States are fully supportive of breastfeeding." The 37 facilities that have achieved the North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation are committed to improving the care of our youngest and most vulnerable.


  • NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • 2001 Mail Service Center
  • Raleigh, NC 27699-2001
  • Ph: (919) 855-4840
  • news@dhhs.nc.gov

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