What Does It Mean to Be Baby-Friendly?
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.
This initiative follows evidence-based best practices for all moms and babies including encouraging skin-to-skin contact between moms and babies.
The Baby-Friendly designation is given to hospitals who successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
Learn more about the baby-friendly initiative here. For questions about breastfeeding your baby or breastfeeding resources, call our Warm Line at 504-842-5210.
What should You Expect if You Deliver at a Baby-friendly Hospital?
Baby-friendly hospitals often have private, spacious birthing rooms. They also provide free prenatal classes including birthing and beyond, grandparenting, CPR and infant safety, breastfeeding and sibling. They are also strong supporters of skin-to-skin immediately following delivery for both vaginal and cesarean sections, throughout your stay at the hospital and at home. Breastfeeding is highly encouraged, and most facilities offer free inpatient and outpatient lactation consults. Some lactation consults even make home visits.
Does Ochsner have any Baby-friendly Accredited Facilities?
Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge was the first hospital in the state of Louisiana to be designated as Baby-Friendly. Ochsner St. Anne, Ochsner Baptist Hospital, Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner and Ochsner Medical Center - West Bank have also received this prestigious international recognition as Baby-Friendly designated birthing facilities, and Ochsner’s other family birthing center locations across our system are also working toward receiving the Baby-Friendly designation. Ochsner is proud to invest in evidence-based programs that support infant bonding and safe feeding practices, so mom and baby get the best, healthiest and happiest start possible.
Editor's note: This blog was originally published on Aug. 15, 2018 and has since been updated.