All 21 Intermountain Health hospitals in Utah with labor and delivery departments have received a five-star rating for being breastfeeding-friendly facilities from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services by completing all 10 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 10 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.  

The list of five-star breastfeeding friendly hospitals includes St. George Regional and Cedar City Community hospitals. 

“Earning the five-star breastfeeding-friendly rating from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, 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 Tiffany Hanson, MSN, MHA, RNC-OB, executive nursing director, obstetric and neonatal operations at Intermountain Health. 

“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,” added Hanson. 

These best practices include: 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 in their feeding choices; encouraging breastfeeding on demand; teaching infant feeding cues; and reducing formula supplementation at the hospital unless medically indicated. 

“We are so thankful for Intermountain Health’s dedication to the ‘Stepping Up for Utah Babies’ program. Each facility worked hard to promote and support breastfeeding and their recognition is well deserved. Their work has positively impacted the lives of countless families throughout Utah,” said Megan Tippetts, MPH, CPH, health promotion coordinator, maternal and infant health program, Utah Department of Health and Human Services. 

After moms go home with their baby, they often have additional breastfeeding questions. They can make an appointment for further breastfeeding education either in a dedicated outpatient lactation consultation room at IHC or through local community resources. 

Outpatient lactation services at various Intermountain hospitals in Utah are available for women, regardless of where they delivered their baby.  

Breastfeeding mothers needing additional help after going home from the hospital can refer to the community resource list to schedule a visit with a certified lactation consultant nearby or call their baby’s doctor or call Intermountain at 801-387-4010. 

Research has found that 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 Utah 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.

Intermountain Health also operates hospitals with maternity services in other states that have similar baby-friendly designations.  

To find out more about Intermountain’s virtual breastfeeding course, click here 

For a complete list of Utah hospitals that have earned the five-star, breastfeeding-friendly rating, visit 

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