Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital is a nationally recognized Baby Friendly Hospital.

Baby Friendly Hospital

Centra Health

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Baby Friendly Hospital

Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital is the region’s first Baby Friendly® hospital. Awarded by Baby Friendly USA, the coveted designation recognizes the hospital’s efforts in 10 key areas, including breastfeeding, rooming-in and skin-to-skin contact, all designed to increase breastfeeding success rates. Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital is one of only four Baby Friendly® designated facilities in Virginia.

Achieving the Baby Friendly® designation required collaborations with community leaders, physicians and staff, all with an eye towards healthier babies. Research shows breastfeeding benefits babies by lowering the risk for diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, ear infections, obesity, allergies, asthma and pediatric cancers. Breastfeeding mothers are at a decreased risk for female cancers, osteoporosis and postpartum depression.

The Baby Friendly® initiative encourages breastfeeding to heighten health among babies and mothers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complimentary foods are introduced for one year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.

All nurses who will care for you received 20 hours of lactation education. Certified lactation consultants support breastfeeding mothers inside the hospital’s mother baby unit. Our lactation consultants are feeding specialists so they can help you with all your infant feeding needs, even if you decide not to breastfeed.

Contact  a lactation consultant 24/7 at 434.401.9344.

In addition, Centra offers Baby Café twice a week to provide lactation support, free baby weight checks and peer support from other nursing mothers at the Center for Childbirth and Family Education at Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital. 

Pacifiers and artificial nipples can interfere with feeding cues and make it more difficult for babies to attach to the breast. It is recommended breastfeeding mothers avoid artificial nipples and pacifiers until breastfeeding is easy.

The hospital embraces skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery, allowing newborns to spend their first hour on mom’s chest. Skin-to-skin contact enhances bonding, regulates a newborn’s temperature and enhances breastfeeding success. Your baby will be placed skin to skin on the mother’s chest immediately after delivery. Skin to skin has many research proven benefits such as increased bonding, temperature regulation, and a reduction in anxiety and pain levels for new mothers.

Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital works closely with local obstetricians and midwives to enhance education and support for Baby Friendly® practices.

We no longer have a traditional nursery on our unit and all infants room in with their mothers. The hospital promotes rooming-in, which keeps moms and newborns together at the hospital. Statistics show rooming-in reduces a newborn’s crying and encourages better sleep by allowing parents to learn a baby’s sleep cycle and feeding cues.

Our unit has a procedure room for specific medical needs such as observation of a medical problem, circumcision, and lab work. We encourage all mothers to plan for a care partner who can support her during her stay. 

The Mother Baby Unit offers Quiet Time each day from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to allow babies and mothers to rest. During this time, mothers may have one guest in the room with them, but other visitation will be restricted. This is a great time for moms to rest and spend time bonding with their baby, practice more skin-to-skin contact or enjoy quiet time in their day.

Learn more about Baby Friendly