The Children’s Hospital at OU Medicine recently received notification of its designation as a Baby-Friendly Hospital. The prestigious international designation was formally announced December 4, following completion of the rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing certification in the United States.
The Children’s Hospital joins more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 595 of which are in the U.S. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting each woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family. As a Baby-Friendly Hospital, The Children’s Hospital is dedicated to providing the most accurate and comprehensive information regarding feeding, nutrition and family bonding.
“This designation reflects the commitment of our facility and staff to ensure each woman who delivers here receives all the tools needed – resources, information and support – to give her baby the best start in life,” said Jon Hayes, president, The Children’s Hospital. “It is further affirmation of our relentless pursuit of quality and excellence across our organization. We strive to make every patient visit a positive experience, and we understand how that experience can influence successful breastfeeding.”
In achieving this honor, The Children’s Hospital demonstrates adherence to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund for optimal infant feeding support in the critically important first days of a newborn’s life. “Our journey toward Baby-Friendly Designation has been several years in the making. It has required great effort from a committed team throughout a rigorous process to achieve this prestigious distinction,” said Tena Fry, DNP, RN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC, CNE, The Children’s Hospital Women’s and Newborn Center. “While we take great pride in this recognition, it’s important to note that Baby-Friendly Designation is not a destination, but a beginning point, which guides ongoing quality improvement measures to promote optimal nutrition for infant growth and healthy futures.”
The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by international health authorities. Chief among the benefits associated with breastfeeding is the boost to an infant’s immune system that affords a level of protection against illnesses and disease in both mother and baby.
As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the U.S.