RAVENNA, Ohio – The Birth Center at Robinson has received the Maternity Care Best Practice Award two years in a row from the Ohio Lactation Consultant Association (OLCA).

The Birth Center at Robinson was presented the award at the OLCA Annual Conference in March for being "bag free."

In 2011, the Surgeon General made a "Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding," as breastfeeding can protect the health of mothers and infants. Leading health organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Public Health Association among others, agree that most babies should have only breast milk for the first six months of life and should be breastfed for at least 12 months.

Hospitals play a vital role in helping mothers and babies successfully establish breastfeeding, it’s important that the message provided to mothers during their stay at Robinson Memorial Hospital is the same given upon discharge, encouraging breastfeeding. Bags in the past, contained formula samples, giving moms mixed messages.

Through an initiative started by Brea Loewit, RN, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, the Birth Center at Robinson has been bag free since 2012.

Since the call to support breastfeeding in 2011, birth facilities in Ohio have gone from being roughly 14% bag free, to now 50% bag free.

"We are honored to have received this award two years in a row," stated Loewit. "It demonstrates how Robinson Memorial Hospital is committed to providing quality care to our patients and helps them meet their breastfeeding goals."