LANSING, MI – Breastfeeding plays an important role in infant and maternal health, which is why the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is pleased to announce that four Michigan hospitals have been selected to join the EMPower Initiative to enhance their maternity care practices and work toward achieving Baby-Friendly USA© designation.
As part of the EMPower Initiative, Hutzel Women’s Hospital in Detroit, Henry Ford Hospital Detroit, Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, and Mercy Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids will receive ongoing support in breastfeeding practices and quality improvement methods from experienced coaches, as well as training and resource support in lactation education. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this initiative has the potential to reach more than 200,000 infants each year. Its hospital participants are committed to increasing breastfeeding rates by promoting and supporting optimal clinical practices.
In Michigan, ten birthing hospitals have already achieved the Baby Friendly USA designation. Baby Friendly designation is a distinguished title indicating the facility’s entire operation is supportive of breastfeeding moms and babies. Baby Friendly USA Hospitals can be found in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Greenville, Grosse Pointe, Lansing, Pontiac, Saginaw, Warren and West Bloomfield. For a complete list of facilities, visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org/find-
MDHHS is committed to improving breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity rates in Michigan. As part of these efforts, the state recently established a Medicaid policy expanding coverage of breast pumps for all Medicaid breastfeeding beneficiaries in need. Additionally, peer support capacity is being built through a partnership between Michigan WIC and Michigan State University Extension, and MDHHS is helping to support breastfeeding moms returning to work by collaborating with the Michigan Breastfeeding Network to increase awareness of Federal and state workplace and public space provisions.