Why look for a birthing hospital with Baby-Friendly designation?
Hospitals and birthing centers with the Baby-Friendly designation are prepared to help you and your new baby get off to the best start. The hospital has demonstrated that they have policies and care practices that meet the gold standard for mother/ baby care practices related to breastfeeding. Staff are trained regarding the care of breastfeeding mothers and babies. Babies stay close to their mothers right after birth so that they can breastfeed as soon as they are ready. Policies allow healthy babies and their mothers to stay together day and night (rooming in) so they have the best chance to get to know each other.
Being together gives parents more opportunities to learn about normal baby behavior knowing that knowledgeable staff can answer their questions about their baby and breastfeeding. From those jerky baby movements, to uneven breathing patterns when trying to breastfeed - staff is readily available to talk about what you should expect from your new baby.
Baby-Friendly birthing sites do not distribute samples from formula manufacturers because this practice is proven to discourage families from providing only mother’s milk to their new babies. Baby-Friendly staff will carefully assess your baby’s feeding so that any early problems can be taken care of quickly. Staff will assist you in breastfeeding so that you feel more confident. Furthermore, if breastfeeding worries arise after you and your baby go home, the Baby-Friendly hospital has staff who can help you solve feeding problems.
Click here to find out if there is a Baby-Friendly designated facility in your community. If the hospital or birthing center where you plan to deliver your baby is not Baby-Friendly designated, ask about their policies, and ask your doctor or midwife to encourage the hospital to pursue this important designation - it's good for all mothers and babies!