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Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding Exclusively Labeled "Baby-Friendly"

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For almost two years, Dr. Benjamin Mojica, acting New York City Health Commissioner, has mandated that all of the city's 11 public hospitals create an atmosphere that is a "baby-friendly" one, and this means strongly emphasizing exclusive breastfeeding.

All of these 11 hospitals must promote breastfeeding, and have to follow the 10 steps outlined by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, as part of an initiative started 10 years ago called the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.

The goal of this initiative is to provide an atmosphere that leads to successful breastfeeding. According to Womensenews, "That includes limiting infant formula marketing, initiating breastfeeding within the first hour of life and keeping mothers and babies in the same room."

Harlem Hospital was the only New York City hospital that met all the requirements, and consequently it received the official "Baby-Friendly" certification from the World Health Organization.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is spreading across the U.S. Today there are 79 hospitals that have the "Baby Friendly" stamp of approval, compared to 64 one year ago.

There is no doubt that breastfeeding is wonderful for an infant, for it provides the best source of nutrition. Mothers who breastfeed are most assuredly more closely bond to their babies. These very same mothers also have lower rates of breast cancer and other forms of cancer, and are able to more easily lose the weight gained during pregnancy.

Add a Comment2 Comments

You brought up an interesting question which I really can't answer. I'm sure the Baby-Friednly hospitals have a good way to handle that situation. I appreciate your comments.

April 17, 2009 - 9:31am


Thank you for such an interesting SHARE.

I think it's wonderful that New York City hospitals have undertaken the "baby-friendly" cause, and teaching and educating new moms about breastfeeding is crucial. The 79 hospitals who have received this certification surely have much to be proud of.

I wonder, however, about those moms who cannot or choose not to breast feed, for whatever reason. Do they also feel at home in these hospitals, or are they made to feel somehow inferior for not being able to or not choosing to breast feed?

April 17, 2009 - 9:22am
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