Covenant Health
This week's reflection

This week's reflection

I am even more deeply pleased if it has helped to encourage the young people that have followed our generation to express their pride in our heritage more openly, more joyfully than I would have ever dared to think possible.

Daphne Odjig

Grey Nuns Community Hospital earns Baby-Friendly designation

December 13, 2017

Grey Nuns Community Hospital receives the Baby-Friendly designation by the World Health Organization and Breastfeeding Committee for Canada

he Grey Nuns Community Hospital is the largest full-service hospital in Canada to receive the Baby-Friendly designation. In order to earn the prestigious designation, the hospital had to implement a number of steps that all work towards supporting new mothers with breastfeeding.

“We are thrilled to have achieved the Baby-Friendly designation. This is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our nurses, leaders and the organization for improving care and support for all mothers,” says Gail Cameron, Senior Director of Operations, Women’s & Child Health, Covenant Health.

Staff completed extensive breastfeeding education and training so they can support mothers with prenatal education through their discharge from the hospital.

“As a mom whose babies were both breastfed, I feel it’s so important to provide moms and their newborns with as many supports, answers and resources as possible,” says Brandy Payne, Associate Minister of Health. “Breastfeeding is not always easy but evidence shows it helps promote improved neurodevelopment, reduced rates of infections and decreased length of hospital stays. I commend the leadership and staff at Grey Nuns Hospital for the work they are doing to help babies and their families get the best start in life and I congratulate them for earning the Baby-Friendly designation.”

The designation is a strong step towards better care and support for all mothers. Breastfeeding has a number of benefits, including long-term protection from illness, faster healing after delivery and bonding between mother and baby.

“The Baby-Friendly designation allows the Grey Nuns Community Hospital to celebrate the good practices they have in their hospital,” says Marina Green, lead assessor with Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. “There are a lot of challenges in health care and it’s great to have external verification that the care here for mothers and babies is outstanding.” 

“After giving birth to a healthy baby girl, my daughter was immediately placed on my chest for skin-to-skin,” says Melanie Borys. “I tried to breastfeed my girl and was delighted when she latched on to feed. I really felt the compassion of the nurses. They took the time to go through the tips of breastfeeding. The support I received was truly empowering as a new mom.”

The Baby-Friendly Initiative is a worldwide strategy of evidence-based standards that enhance infant feeding. It was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and implemented in Canada by the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. The program encourages hospitals and community facilities to strengthen their contribution of health services to infant and maternal health by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

Media are invited to interview moms and staff.

Contact: Esther Kim, Covenant Health Communications, 780.246.2523

Media release (PDF)

Covenant Health is one of Canada's largest Catholic healthcare organizations with over 15,000 physicians, employees and volunteers serving in 12 communities across Alberta. A major provider in Alberta's integrated health system, Covenant Health works with Alberta Health Services and community partners to positively influence the health of Albertans through a broad range of programs and services.