University Hospital is Designated Baby Friendly Hospital
University Hospital now officially joins the ranks of hundreds of hospitals across the country who have successfully earned the “Baby Friendly” status as designated by Baby Friendly USA. University Hospital is the first hospital in Essex County, New Jersey who has successfully earned the coveted designation.
The Baby Friendly Health Initiative, or BFHI is a global program launched in 1991 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Through the program, new mothers are encouraged to nourish their newborn children with breast milk rather than formula or other substitutes. Breastfeeding has been demonstrated to lower the risks for certain diseases and to improve health outcomes for both mothers and their newborns.
The celebration marks the end of a four-year campaign to advocate and aggressively support breastfeeding within the hospital and the community as the healthy choice for newborn children and their mothers.
To achieve the Baby-Friendly designation, hospitals are required to institute and then maintain a Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding program. Hospitals must:
- 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 mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center
To celebrate the new designation, a celebration of University new designation is planned for Tuesday, April 18th from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. New mothers, employees, and members of the community are invited to attend.