PRMC Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation

PRMC Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation

Pratt Regional Medical Center is proud to announce that it has achieved the highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized for the hard work of our team members throughout the Baby-Friendly process,” said Darrell Lavender, President and CEO. “PRMC is committed to providing the support, education and resources moms need to successfully initiate breastfeeding and continue breastfeeding when they leave our care.”

The journey to our Baby-Friendly Designation began in July of 2017 and was made possible in part by The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund (Health Fund) a statewide health foundation that facilitates conversation and action to improve the health and wholeness of Kansans—especially those in rural and under-served communities.  The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund to helped with education, supplies and some fees to achieve this designation. There was also a grant from EMPower, which allowed for training and competencies check offs with all the Family Birth Suites nursing staff.  EMPower Best Practices is a hospital-based quality improvement initiative, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) focused on improving knowledge and skills in evidence-based maternity care practices supportive of optimal infant nutrition.  

This distinguished honor demonstrates that PRMC is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.

Pratt Regional Medical Center is the only Kansas hospital in a community of fewer than 20,000 people to achieve this designation, there are only 10 hospitals in Kansas and currently 593 in the United States. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

 “The hospital experience strongly influences a mother’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding,” said Brenda Blankenship, Family Birth Suites Nurse Manager.  “We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation to ensure that mothers delivering in our facility who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported.”

The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. For example, the Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”

About Baby-Friendly USA

As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at