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Two More Hospitals in NYC Health + Hospitals System Earn “Baby Friendly” Status

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi recognized for excellence in promoting breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact between mothers and babies to improve infant and maternal health

Health system now has six hospitals that have earned "Baby Friendly" Status; Only 8 hospitals in NYC have earned the status

Jul 06, 2016

New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced two more hospitals in the city’s public health care system have earned the prestigious “Baby-Friendly” designation for promoting the highest level of care for infants through breast feeding and promoting bonding between mother and baby. The recognition is awarded to hospitals all over the world by Baby-Friendly USA, part of an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue in Manhattan and NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi in the Bronx received the designation this month for providing the optimal level of care to mothers and their babies. Other hospitals in the health system that have earned this designation include Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens and NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. There are only 8 total hospitals in NYC that have received the designation.
“We are Bellevue Proud of our ‘Baby Friendly’ designation,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue CEO William Hicks. “It comes as the result of teamwork, effort and dedication. This distinction will further increase health outcomes for mothers and babies and also improve patient satisfaction.”
“Jacobi has been a trusted name in pediatric and maternity care for decades, but we are not resting on our laurels. Each day we hold ourselves to the highest possible standards of care,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi Acting CEO Christopher M. Fugazy. “This designation signifies the staff at Jacobi are trained to educate, coach, guide and reassure mothers as they initiate breastfeeding and mother/baby bonding at birth.”
To receive the designation, the hospitals were required to meet or exceed patient care standards in a rigorous on-site evaluation by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, including:

  • A comprehensive education program that offer mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.
  • 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.

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 initiative is based on the organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding:

  • 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

In 2015, 1,500 babies were born at Bellevue Hospital — 94% of the babies receive mother’s milk because their moms have demonstrated a strong desire to supply mother’s milk to their newborns. In addition to Baby Friendly, in June 2014, Bellevue was the first hospital in NYC to offer mothers’ milk from a milk bank to new moms with lactation issues. Bellevue is a Regional Perinatal Center and manages the care of NYC’s sickest babies.
In 2015, 2,400 babies were born at Jacobi Hospital – 97% of the babies receive mother’s milk. Jacobi has been a leader in maternal and pediatric care for many years. The hospital offers a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and is the Regional Perinatal Center for the area, meaning medical staff are highly trained and equipped to handle the most complicated maternity problems. Many in the Bronx have made Jacobi their hospital of choice.
Patients seeking more information about the Labor and Delivery programs at any of the NYC Health + Hospitals “Baby-Friendly” sites can call:

  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue: 718-918-6391
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi: 212-562-3791
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx: 718-519-3872
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln: 718-579-5000
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens: 718-883-3660
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem: 212-939-8229

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.