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Published on January 23, 2015

Women’s Hospital Earns “Baby-Friendly” Designation

Women’s Hospital has been recognized as a Baby-Friendly birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Baby FriendlyHealth Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund to encourage breastfeeding. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to start and continue breastfeeding their babies.

“Women’s Hospital has long championed the benefits of breastfeeding. This designation further confirms what we've known -- breastfeeding is the best medicine for babies,” says Women’s Hospital President Cindy Farrand.

Women’s Hospital worked with other hospitals in a 22-month learning collaborative, using research-based methods in pursuit of "Baby-Friendly" status. This designation verifies that Women’s Hospital has comprehensively implemented the American Academy of Pediatrics-endorsed Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Although breastfeeding is one of the most protective health measures for infants and mothers, half of US-born babies are given formula within the first week, and by nine months, only 31% of babies are breastfeeding at all. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding seeks to reverse these trends by dramatically increasing the number of US hospitals implementing a proven model for maternity services that better supports a new mother’s choice to breastfeed.