BALTIMORE – MedStar Harbor Hospital has achieved the international Baby-Friendly hospital designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, an organization known for setting the highest standards for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
While there are 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, only 604 hospitals in the US have achieved the designation.
The standards are built on ten evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant nursing support in the first days of life. These include skin-to-skin care in the baby’s first hours, rooming-in with the mom while at the hospital, avoiding pacifiers (to prevent nipple confusion) and no formula except when medically necessary.
MedStar Harbor Hospital provides an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.
“We are extremely proud to be recognized for the hard work of our team members to achieve this designation,” said David Ghadisha, MD, OB hospitalist and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MedStar Harbor. “We are committed to providing the support, education and resources moms need to breastfeed while here, and continue nursing when they get home. It speaks to our commitment to making sure every woman who delivers a baby here be given the resources, information and support needed to help her and her baby get the healthiest start in life.”
The hospital will hold the designation for five years and will then be reevaluated.
About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.
About Baby-Friendly USA
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 US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at www.babyfriendlyusa.org.