Winchester Hospital Recognized with Breastfeeding Achievement Award from Mass. Department of Public Health

Winchester, Mass. – In recognition of its commitment to improving breastfeeding outcomes, Winchester Hospital has been honored with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Breastfeeding Achievement Award. Winchester Hospital was one of only eight birthing facilities in the state to receive this recognition. Two of the eight hospitals are in the Beth Israel Lahey Health system, with Anna Jaques Hospital also being celebrated.

“We are honored to be recognized for our commitment to providing infant nutrition support to our patients and their families, including through breastfeeding, which has health benefits for both the baby and mother,” said Cheryl Bauer, MSN, RN, Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Winchester Hospital.

Through its efforts, Winchester Hospital has seen its percentage of mothers who exclusively breastfeed rise to 72%. The hospital has added a second lactation consultant to assist mothers with breastfeeding, on both an in- patient and out-patient basis. Additionally, nurses are following evidence-based best practices, including the Golden Hour, which is breastfeeding within the first hour after an uncomplicated delivery. It promotes the mother-baby bond and provides the baby with colostrum, which is the first breastmilk released after giving birth. It's nutrient-dense and high in antibodies and antioxidants to build a newborn baby's immune system.

According to the Center for Disease Control, infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of asthma, obesity, Type 1 diabetes, severe lower respiratory disease, ear infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and gastrointestinal illnesses. Mothers benefit as well, as breastfeeding can lower a mother’s risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

“Infant nutrition is a critical contributor to the health of babies, and our nursing staff and providers are dedicated to supporting our new mothers and littlest patients to get the best start in life with the feeding and nutrition options that work best for them, including breastfeeding,” said Rick Weiner, MD, president of Winchester Hospital. “Our staff provide critical support and guidance to start our patients on the right path to good nutrition, and I’m grateful their efforts are being recognized.”

Winchester Hospital is also a Baby-Friendly Designated Hospital. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to promote, support, and encourage breastfeeding.

About Winchester Hospital

Winchester Hospital is a 229-bed facility and leading provider of comprehensive health care services in northwest suburban Boston offering a broad range of surgical specialties, including general, bariatric, urologic, thoracic, otolaryngology (ENT), vascular, and orthopedic surgery. They also deliver care in other areas, including pediatrics, cardiology, pulmonary medicine, oncology, gastroenterology, rehabilitation, radiation oncology, pain management, obstetrics/gynecology and a Level IIB Special Care Nursery.

Winchester Hospital is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.

Media Contact

Kristina Murray