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CFVH Achieves Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation

Friday, November 1, 2019

Pictured Above: Sara Nestor, RN, CLC, OB Coordinator caring for newborn.

October 2019 - Clark Fork Valley Hospital (CFVH) is proud to announce that it has achieved the highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.

This distinguished honor demonstrates that CFVH is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.

The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. For example, the Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”

CFVH joins a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 591 of which are in the United States. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

In Montana, there are now 15 designated facilities but CFVH took it a step further by becoming the 1st Mother-Friendly facility supporting employees who are breastfeeding and need areas to pump or feed their babies during working hours. They have created lactation stations throughout the facility in addition to providing secure and safe storage options for nursing moms.

“The hospital experience strongly influences a mother’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding,” said Sara Nestor, RN, CFVH OB Coordinator and Certified Lactation Counselor. “We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation to ensure that mothers delivering in our facility who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported.”

“This designation is the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination across our organization, all with a goal of helping families get off to a good start,” shared Jessica Valentine, MD, CFVH Hospitalist, OB Provider and Certified Lactation Counselor. “We are proud to offer an environment that supports best practices shown to increase breastfeeding exclusivity and duration and are committed to give moms who choose to breastfeed the best chance for success.”

About Baby-Friendly USA
As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at

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