Baby-Friendly USA Inc. recently designated West Kendall Baptist Hospital a Baby- Friendly facility for its commitment to encouraging new mothers to breastfeed their babies. West Kendall Baptist Hospital is the first facility in South Florida and one of only 286 hospitals and birthing centers in the United States to earn the designation.
The term Baby-Friendly, a registered certification mark, is reserved exclusively for facilities that have passed an on-site assessment confirming that the facility has implemented the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding program. An abundance of scientific evidence points to lower risks for certain diseases and improved health outcomes for both mothers and babies who breastfeed.
“Providing exceptional patient- and family- centered care, with the incorporation of Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, has been hardwired into our practices by the physicians, leadership and staff here on the Beautiful Beginnings Birthing Suites,” said Ann Mullings, RN, director of Nursing Services at West Kendall Baptist Hospital.
Baby-Friendly USA is the accrediting body and the national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States. A global program of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the initiative assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.
“Breastfeeding education is one of the foundations of our Beautiful Beginnings Birthing Suites program for expectant mothers and their families, which has been a hallmark of our hospital since we opened in 2011. Congratulations to all of our obstetrical physicians, nurses and staff on this significant accomplishment,”said hospital CEO Javier Hernandez-Lichtl.
“Recognition as a Baby-Friendly-designated facility demonstrates our team’s commitment to providing evidence-based maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding, as well as strengthening the bond between mother and baby,” said Denise Harris, RN, chief nursing officer of West Kendall Baptist Hospital. “The Baby-Friendly assessment team’s rigorous review of our program is another confirmation that we are delivering the highest standard of care to our new mothers.”