Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO - Breastfeeding reduces childhood obesity, according to studies. This message was taken to the Northern Navajo Medical Center on Wednesday by Yvette Roubideaux, Director of the Indian Health Services, as part of First Lady's "Let's Move! in Indian Country" initiative.
Miss Navajo Nation, Winifred Bessie Jumbo speaking at Launch of Let's Move in Indian Country's Baby Friendly Hospital Initative
The goal of "Let's Move! in Indian Country" is to reduce childhood obesity in Indian Country within the next generation.
Indian Health Services is beginning young - at infancy. Studies have found that the likelihood of obesity is 22 percent lower among children who were breastfed. The strongest effects were observed among adolescents, meaning that obesity-reducing benefits of breastfeeding extend many years into a child"Let's Move! in Indian Country's life.
The Indian Health Service (IHS) visited the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, to launch the IHS Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
A baby-friendly hospital is one that supports mothers who choose to breastfeed by providing them with the information and skills needed to start and continue breastfeeding their babies.
The IHS initiative is based on the Baby-Friendly® Hospital Initiative
By supporting mothers who choose to breastfeed, the IHS will reduce current and future medical problems and decrease health care costs. This initiative will use quality improvement processes to improve breastfeeding rates through new maternity care and infant feeding practices.
The goal for the IHS Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is to certify 14 federal IHS obstetric facilities as baby-friendly hospitals by 2012 and to encourage 12 Tribal obstetric facilities to adopt this initiative.
The Northern Navajo Medical Center was chosen as the site of the IHS launch of this initiative because the Center has been a leader in Indian Country, working closely with the Navajo Nation Breastfeeding Coalition to support this traditional practice.
The IHS initiative is based on the Baby-Friendly® Hospital Initiative , which is a series of maternity care practices that were created in 1991 by the United Nations Children's Fund and World Health Organization as the gold standard for significantly increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration rates. In the 20 years since the initiative started, more than 200,000 hospitals in 156 countries have joined the program. The program offers ten steps to successful breastfeeding that enable facilities and communities to support women who choose to breastfeed.
The IHS Baby-Friendly Initiative's work to certify IHS obstetric facilities as baby-friendly and encourage Tribal obstetric facilities to adopt this initiative fulfils one of the important recommendations found in the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report.
posted June 24, 2011 7:00 am et
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