Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in Northampton

Cooley Dickinson Hospital Childbirth Center takes baby steps toward national initiative

Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Childbirth Center in Northampton, MA has received a certificate of intent from the UNICEF/World Health Organization Baby-Friendly USA Hospital initiative. Receiving this document is a first step in Cooley Dickinson’s application process toward becoming certified as a Baby-Friendly hospital, according to this organization’s ten-step process.

Paula Mattson, international board certified lactation consultant and the hospital’s liaison to the Baby-Friendly initiative says the receipt of the certificate indicates “Cooley Dickinson has joined other pioneering birth facilities in setting standards of excellence for assisting pregnant women and new mothers with breastfeeding.”

“While the certificate recognizes Cooley Dickinson’s commitment to breastfeeding and to the completion of the first phase of the application process, additional steps such as nurse and physician training need to occur before the Childbirth Center can promote itself as a Baby-Friendly hospital,” adds Mattson. Boston Medical Center is the only Massachusetts hospital that has met all standards of the Baby-Friendly USA Hospital Initiative.

The certificate of intent lauds Cooley Dickinson Hospital for its “sincere commitment to promote, support and protect breastfeeding by striving to implement the Ten Steps to successful breastfeeding of the UNICEF/WHO Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative.” Mattson says Cooley Dickinson employees are working toward those steps, which according to the UNICEF/WHO include:

  1. Maintaining a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Training all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Informing all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Showing mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Giving breastfeeding infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practicing “rooming in”– allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encouraging unrestricted breastfeeding.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Midwifery Medical Director at Cooley Dick

Tucker Kueny, MD Accepts Offer of Midwifery Medical Director Post

Cooley’s midwifery practice to progress at quicker pace; certified nurse midwife recruitment continues with a practice opening planned for June 2008.

Following a nationwide search to locate the medical director of Cooley Dickinson’s new midwifery program, the physician who accepted the post resides in Northampton, MA and was recommended by area women at one of the hospital’s community focus groups.  Read the rest of this entry »

Local Midwifery Program Plans Go Forward


In response to questions from the community, Acting CEO Carol Smith says “fit with this community is essential!”

Cooley Dickinson Hospital (Northampton, MA) has a longstanding commitment to providing a range of childbirth/women’s health services to Hampshire and Franklin residents, but since June, certified nurse midwife-assisted deliveries here have not been an option.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Acting CEO Carol Smith, RN expects that to change shortly.

While Smith does not have an exact date of when the new midwifery program will be available to area women, she respectfully requests that community members continue to be patient.

“Many women are extremely frustrated, and rightfully so,” states Smith, citing feedback she has both heard from patients and read online. “We understand their frustration, but there are many aspects to developing a new health program that the public does not see, and that take a lot of time.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Hampshire OB/GYN Announces Discontinuation to Nurse Midwifery at Births [UPDATE]


April 5th, 2007

Dear Parent Support Community,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital to inform you of a recent development and to request your support. Hampshire OB/GYN sent a letter to its families on Tuesday, April 3 that outlined their decision to discontinue nurse midwifery (CNM) services at births as of June 15. They will continue to offer nurse midwifery care during prenatal and postnatal office visits and for gynecological visits. Hampshire OB/GYN is the only obstetrical practice affiliated with the hospital that currently provides CNM assisted births. We are working to further understand the decision made by Hampshire OB/GYN and to create a response plan to their decision. Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: