You may have heard that HealthAlliance Hospital (Kingston, NY) is a Baby Friendly Hospital.
You may have questions about what that means. Aren't all maternity hospitals "baby friendly?" While the health care workers, staff and executives at your nearby hospital may love babies and be friendly, "Baby Friendly" means something deeper and more important.
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was formed to increase awareness and educate parents about the importance of breastfeeding, especially in the first hour after birth; to protect parents from predatory marketing and mis-education from hospital staff; to give parents all the professional support they might need as they begin their breastfeeding relationship; and to link families to breastfeeding support systems when they return home.
BFHI is founded on the ideal that all babies have the right to begin their life breastfeeding.
If after educating parents and allowing babies to initiate breastfeeding, the family decides to wean, then that is absolutely fine. Nobody is forcing you to breastfeed if you don't want to. The purpose of BFHI is to ensure that you are making an educated decision about how you feed your baby.
The BFHI decided on 10 principles which became "The Ten Steps To Successful Breastfeeding." and is adapted into "The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for Hospitals," as outlined by United Nations International Child Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO.)
The 10 Steps as interpreted in the United States are:
Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
Practice rooming-in-- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic
A hospital goes through a several-year process of adopting the "Ten Steps" in coordination with BFHI.
This involves changing the organization of the hospital and the hospital policy. It's not an easy task to make institutional change. When an institution has been doing things one way for a while, there can be a lot of pushback to keep things the way they always have been.
One major difference is that Baby Friendly hospitals no longer receive promotional products such as formula, pacifiers and discharge bags. Formula is purchased in the same way every other hospital food is. Pacifiers are now purchased medical supplies and discharge bags are funded through the hospital marketing department.
Becoming Baby Friendly often involves making physical changes to the layout of the labor, delivery and postpartum ward. In a Baby Friendly hospital, there is no need for a traditional nursery and patient rooms may be reconfigured to be more comfortable under the new policies.
The biggest change is in the training that the staff receives. Every employee of a Baby Friendly Hospital is trained in the the Ten Steps. Training is adapted for each of the levels of service from Custodial to Food Service to Labor & Delivery to Lactation. The training focuses on breastfeeding as a normal process that is unremarkable and ordinary. It's how humans feed their babies.
When a hospital has made all the organizational and structural changes needed to adopt these principles, they are inspected and accredited. They become a "Baby Friendly Hospital."
In New York State, these hospitals have earned the Baby Friendly designation:
Bellevue Hospital Center
462 1st Ave & 27th Street
New York, NY 10016
Brooklyn Birthing Center
2183 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11229
Coney Island Hospital
2601 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11235
Elmhurst Hospital Center
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Flushing Hospital Medical Center
4500 Parsons Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11355
Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue
New York, NY 10037-1802
(2008) Re-Designated 2018-2023
HealthAlliance Hospital – Broadway Campus
Kingston, NY 12401
Jacobi Medical Center
1400 Pelham Parkway South
Bronx, NY 10461
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center
8900 Van Wyck Expressway
Jamaica, NY 11418
John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital
818 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center
234 East 149th Street
Bronx, NY 10451
Long Island Jewish Forest Hills
102-01 66th Road
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Long Island Jewish Medical Center
270-05 76th Avenue
New Hyde Park, NY 11040
Metropolitan Hospital Center
1901 First Avenue
New York, NY 10029
Montefiore Jack D. Weiler Hospital – Einstein Campus
1825 Eastchester Road
Bronx, NY 10461
Montefiore Medical Center – Wakefield Hospital
600 East 233rd Street
Bronx, NY 10466
Mount Sinai South Nassau
One Healthy Way
Oceanside, NY 11572
New York Presbyterian/Queens
56-45 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
New York-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital
1980 Crompond Road
Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567
(01/13) Re-designated 2018-2023
Newark Wayne Community Hospital
1200 Driving Park Avenue
Newark, NY 14513-0111
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
3424 Kossuth Avenue
Bronx, NY 10467
NYU Langone Hospital
550 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016
NYU Winthrop Hospital
259 First Street
Mineola, NY 11501
(12/14) Re-Designation Pending
701 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
Queens Hospital Center
82-68 164th Street
Jamaica, NY 11432
(05/14) Re-Designated 2019-2024
Richmond University Medical Center
355 Bard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10310
Rochester General Hospital
1425 Portland Ave
Rochester, NY 14621-3001
(2000) Re-Designated 2015-2020
St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center
50 Rte 25-A
Smithtown, NY 11787
St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center
301 Prospect Ave
Syracuse, NY 13203
(2009) Re-Designated 2019-2024
St. Peter’s Hospital
315 South Manning Blvd.
Albany, NY 12208
United Memorial Medical Center
127 North Street
Batavia, NY 14020
1555 Long Pond Road
Rochester, NY 14626
Woodhull Medical & Mental Health Center
Brooklyn, NY 11206