(LIJ) has been recognized as a Baby-Friendly hospital, achieving the quality standard for best possible breast feeding support for mothers and infants in the maternity unit. LIJ earned this designation for offering new mothers the information, confidence and skills they need to succeed in breastfeeding and caring for their babies. Of the estimated 6,000 hospitals and birthing centers in the United States, only 500 have received the Baby-Friendly designation.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program that was created in 1991 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. The initiative’s aim is to assist hospitals in educating and supporting new mothers about the health benefits of breastfeeding their newborns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization suggest that mothers breastfeed for the first six months of a child’s life. However, only one in four babies in the US meet that recommendation. Research studies have shown that babies who are breastfed are less likely to have asthma, type 2 diabetes, or become obese.
“We’re very proud of our team for obtaining the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation at the ,” said , executive director of LIJ Medical Center. “This designation represents our commitment to providing the highest level of education and family bonding for our new and expanding families.”
LIJ features state-of-the-art labor and delivery rooms. Private mother and baby rooms are equipped with an ADA-compliant bathroom and shower, wireless internet, glider chair and flat screen TV. Overnight accommodations are available for a significant other to stay, which is recommended. All maternity staff are specially trained to help with breastfeeding. Other hospital amenities include lactation consultation services, prenatal classes, a family lounge, patient and family classrooms, as well as a retail store focusing on women’s and newborn products. Breast pump rentals are available onsite.
The Katz Women’s Hospital at LIJ delivers more babies than any other hospital in New York State, more than 9,100 in 2018. LIJ and 10 other Northwell Health hospitals with maternity programs delivered more than 39,000 babies in 2018 – about 17 percent of all newborns in New York State and one percent of the nationwide total.