Intermountain Healthcare

Intermountain Healthcare Hospitals Earn the Five-Star Breastfeeding-Friendly Rating from Utah Department of Health


Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/03/2021 --All Intermountain Healthcare hospitals along the Wasatch Front have received a five-star rating for being breastfeeding-friendly facilities from the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) by completing all ten steps of the department's Stepping Up for Utah Babies program.

The state health program recognizes Utah hospitals that have taken steps to promote, protect, educate, and encourage breastfeeding in their facilities. Earning a five-star rating typically takes years. The ten steps of the Stepping Up for Utah Babies program are evidence-based maternity care practices that demonstrate optimal support of breastfeeding, as well as improved care experiences and outcomes for non-breastfeeding moms and families.

Intermountain Layton Hospital, which has been open less than three years, recently earned the 5-star rating. The list of 5-star breastfeeding friendly hospitals includes these 15 Intermountain hospitals: Alta View in Sandy, American Fork, Cedar City, Heber Valley, Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Layton, LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Logan Regional, McKay-Dee in Ogden, Orem Community, Park City, Riverton, Sanpete in Mt. Pleasant, St. George Regional and Utah Valley in Provo.

"Our mom and baby caregivers and the lactation team at Layton Hospital have worked tirelessly, since the hospital opened to achieve this designation, which signifies our caregivers are both competent and comfortable providing evidence-based education and valuable tools and resources to help families be successful in feeding their infants," said Danice Lewis, MHA, BSA, RN, nurse manager for the mom and baby unit and Level 2 NICU at Layton Hospital.

The nurse managers at all Intermountain hospitals partner together and share best practices with each other and implement ideas to help increase breastfeeding support for new moms. They include hospital practices such as: encouraging moms to hold their new baby skin-to-skin right after delivery; allowing moms and babies to remain together 24 hours-a-day in the hospital; training staff to support all new moms' feeding choices; encouraging breastfeeding on demand; teaching infant feeding cues; and reducing formula supplementation unless medically indicated to name a few.

"Our caregivers provide individualized care to help each mom enjoy skin-to-skin contact with their baby to help promote bonding, especially during that first golden hour after birth," said, Holly Hill, BSN, RN, IBCLC, nurse and lactation lead at Layton Hospital. "We teach moms how to breastfeed, hand express and/or use a breast pump, provide a community lactation resources list, and talk about what to expect after they go home."

"After moms go home with their baby, they often have additional breastfeeding questions. They can make an appointment at Layton Hospital for further breastfeeding education in a dedicated outpatient lactation consultation room," added Hill.

Outpatient lactation services at the hospital are available for women, regardless of where they delivered their baby. Breastfeeding mothers needing additional help after going home can refer to the community resource list to schedule a visit with a certified lactation consultant nearby or call your baby's doctor or call Intermountain at 801-387-4010.

The research and evidence is clear, breast milk is the best food for infants and breastfeeding is associated with decreased risk for infant morbidity and mortality. It's also been shown that breastfeeding moms have lower incidences of breast and ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes and postpartum depression. More information can be found on the state health program website.

The state program is patterned after the international Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative started by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund in the 1990s.

To find out more about Intermountain's virtual breastfeeding course, click here. For a complete list of hospitals working toward the five-star, breastfeeding-friendly rating, visit

About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,600 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see Intermountain Healthcare or the Intermountain Healthcare Blog.