"The Sacred Hour" in FBU
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2012

NHCH’s Family Birthing Unit (FBU) is in the process of implementing The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding. The BFHI assists hospitals in giving mothers information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding or feeding formula safely.

Last month, NHCH’s Family Birthing Unit implemented “The Sacred Hour”, which is one of 10 steps to becoming certified Baby-Friendly.  The Sacred Hour is a term our Family Birthing Unit created to describe the time immediately after birth where the baby is placed on mom’s chest for uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact. This skin-to-skin contact offers several health benefits for the baby, including: more likely to latch/latch on well, more stable/normal skin temperatures, more stable/normal heart rates and blood pressures, less likely to cry, more likely to breastfeed exclusively and longer and improves milk supply. During The Sacred Hour, babies instinctively go through different stages which span about an hour.

Currently, only one hospital in the state of Hawaii is certified Baby-Friendly, and NHCH hopes to be the second by early 2013.  For more information on The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, please visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org.