mother and newborn

Being Baby Friendly

In 2015, Summa Health System – Akron Campus became the first hospital in the Akron-Canton area and one of just nine in Ohio to be awarded Baby-Friendly® status. This means Summa Health System - Akron Campus delivers on its pledge to support a healthy beginning for mothers and babies by providing the best possible breastfeeding support for new moms and their infants.

Summa Health System – Akron Campus Maternity Services earned the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation from Baby-Friendly USA, this country’s authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The five-year designation comes after a rigorous review that is based on the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” a specific set of evidence-based criteria that are proven to improve breastfeeding success and, ultimately, health outcomes.

In total, there are fewer than 300 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers across the country.

Summa Health is also well-known for its skin-to-skin program, wherein a newborn remains in close contact with the mother for the first hour after birth, which helps regulate body temperature, slows the baby’s heart rate and promotes a smooth transition for babies from the womb to the outside world. Summa is also a major advocate of 24-hour “rooming-in” with the mom and her newborn, providing a more family-centered experience that emphasizes bonding.