Mease Countryside Again Receives Baby Friendly Designation

January 09, 2017

World Health Organization and UNICEF Recognize Hospitals That Promote and Support Breastfeeding

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. (January 9, 2017) – A worldwide initiative advocating breastfeeding has once again recognized Mease Countryside Hospital as a “Baby-Friendly” facility that promotes and supports that practice.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched in 1991 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The Maternity Center at Mease offers breastfeeding mothers the information, skills and support needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.  

Hospitals and maternity units set a powerful example for new mothers, according to UNICEF’s web site. BFHI recognizes those maternities, whether free-standing or in hospitals, that support breastfeeding as being beneficial to children’s health.

“Breast milk contains the nutrients babies need and protects both children and their mothers from numerous illnesses and diseases,” said Robin Lapham, director of nursing with responsibility for women’s and children’s services, Mease Countryside. “Our team, comprised of physicians, nurses and board-certified lactation consultants, works together to ensure the mother is comfortable with breastfeeding and capable of giving her baby a healthy head start in life.”

A maternity facility is awarded “Baby-Friendly” status after meeting requirements established by WHO and UNICEF and following the 10 Steps of Successful Breastfeeding. Those steps include helping all mothers initiate breastfeeding within one half-hour of birth, showing mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants, giving newborn infants only breast milk, unless other forms of nourishment are medically indicated, practicing rooming-in by allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day and encouraging unrestricted breastfeeding on demand. Since the BFHI program began, over 1,000 facilities worldwide in 134 countries have received the designation.  

About Mease Countryside Hospital

Serving North Pinellas and Pasco counties, The Maternity Center at Mease Countryside Hospital is committed to providing the best modern technology with personalized, family-centered care. Expectant mothers can discover multiple benefits to having their babies at Mease Countryside including a variety of classes for expectant parents, as well as the choice of several nontraditional pain management and birthing techniques, such as music therapy, nitrous oxide and warm water immersion.

Mease Countryside Hospital is a 311-bed facility committed to improving the health of everyone it serves. Mease Countryside has been awarded a total of 12 Top 100 Hospital designations in the areas of stroke, orthopedic, intensive care and overall care by the Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success. Mease Countryside Hospital is located at 3231 McMullen Booth Road, Safety Harbor, Fla. For more information about Mease Countryside Hospital, go to

About BayCare Health System
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 14 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at