Melrose-Wakefield Hospital receives Breastfeeding Achievement Award

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital was honored at the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition’s annual conference at the Massachusetts Medical Society Headquarters in Waltham on Oct. 18. This is third consecutive year that the hospital has received the award from the state Department of Public Health.

Based on telephone surveys conducted this past summer, the 2010 Breastfeeding Achievement Awards recognizes institutions with established breastfeeding taskforces or committees. Such committees demonstrate staff’s dedication to the ongoing review of policy and outcomes to ensure that families receive the best breastfeeding care. As public health professionals and healthcare providers agree, supporting breastfeeding in the early days and months of life supports the better health and well-being of mothers and their children for years to come.

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital has offered the region the very best in maternal-newborn services for more than a century. Specialized, personalized and family-centered care close to home is what patients have come to expect at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.

The hospital is home to the first Baby Café in the United States. The Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Baby Café is located inside the Melrose Church of the Nazarene, 2 Short St. in Melrose, and is a free service available to all pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who are interested in the health and wellness benefits of breastfeeding.

In affiliation with the UK-based Baby Café Charitable Trust, the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Baby Café provides pregnant and breastfeeding mothers a friendly and comfortable environment to learn more about breastfeeding. In the Baby Café, mothers can relax, share tips and techniques, and socialize with other moms. One-on-one help from specially trained health professionals is available, including professional lactation support and WIC peer counselors. Babies can be also weighed and breastfeeding assessed at the Baby Café, providing additional support for parents.

The Melrose-Wakefield Baby Café is open on Wednesdays, 6- 8 p.m. and Fridays, 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. No appointment is necessary to visit the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Baby Café. For more, call 781-979-MILK (6455).

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital is also on track to become the first community hospital in the state to be named a “Baby Friendly Hospital,” a global program that encourages and recognizes hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for lactation. The hospital is a member of the Massachusetts Baby Friendly Collaborative, which is made up of a group of hospitals working toward becoming a “Baby Friendly Hospital.”

For more information about Hallmark Health, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hallmarkhealth.

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Cancer Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, Malden; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology.

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