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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx Named "Baby Friendly"

Recognized by "Baby-Friendly USA" for promoting breastfeeding to improve infant and maternal health

Apr 22, 2016

Bronx, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx has been designated “Baby-Friendly” by Baby-Friendly USA, part of an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) designed to recognize hospitals that encourage and promote the highest level of care for infant feeding, particularly breast feeding and mother/baby bonding.
The Baby-Friendly initiative encourages hospitals and birthing centers to offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. It recognizes birth facilities worldwide that offer mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. The prestigious “Baby-Friendly” designation is given only after a rigorous on-site survey is completed, and is then reviewed every five years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “2014 Breastfeeding Report Card,” only about 80 percent of infants born in 2011 in New York State were ever breastfed, with only 55.8 percent still being breastfed at the age of six months.
The ‘Baby Friendly’ designation demonstrates that North Central Bronx provides the highest levels of care to both mothers and babies,” said Acting Chief Executive Officer Maureen Pode. “Patients are in the best hands from the moment they walk through our doors as we set the standard in supporting and maintaining excellence in maternity and neonatal care.
“Many of the chronic diseases that are prevalent in the Bronx are less likely to occur in breastfeeding families,” said Dr. Michael Zinaman, Chair of Women’s Health Services. “Breastfeeding provides health benefits to both mother and baby. Breastfed newborns are at lower risk of ear and respiratory infections, diabetes and obesity. Breastfeeding mothers have lower risks for breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes and postpartum depression.”
Over 1,600 babies have been delivered at North Central Bronx since its Labor and Delivery service was resumed in October 2014. The hospital becomes the fourth in the NYC Health + Hospitals system to achieve the Baby-Friendly status, joining NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens. Currently there are 344 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States.
To receive the designation, NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx had to meet or exceed several critical patient care standards in a rigorous on-site evaluation by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, including:

  • Immediate skin-to-skin contact for mother and baby after birth. Intensive education of both patients and hospital staff about the important benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • Allowing newborns to stay with their mothers 24-hours-a-day during postpartum care.
  • Providing connections for breastfeeding support groups in the area.

The Baby-Friendly initiative is based on the organization’s “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”:

Baby-Friendly USA’s “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  • Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  • Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
  • Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer

Patients seeking more information about the Labor and Deliver program at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx should call (718) 519-3872 or visit /northcentralbronx/html/services/labordeliverycompservices.shtml.


Contact: John Doyle, 718-918-4055, 917-553-4642

About NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx

NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx is a 215-bed community hospital. The hospital specializes in women’s and children’s services. Its renowned outpatient department has led the way in community-based care delivered in a compassionate and culturally-appropriate manner. As a member of the NYC Health + Hospitals health care system, it is committed to providing safe, high-quality medical care for any and all in need. For more information visit /northcentralbronx

About NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation with a network of 11 hospitals including six regional trauma centers, community-based health centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, and a correctional health services unit. The system includes a home care agency and a health plan, MetroPlusHealth. The health system provides essential services to 1.2 million New Yorkers every year in more than 70 locations across the five boroughs. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees are uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. Visit nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected: https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem/ or Twitter @NYCHealthSystem.