By Staff     4/13/2017

St. Jude Medical Center has earned re-accreditation as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, an honor recognizing hospitals and birthing centers that provide optimal, evidence-based care to mothers and babies.

To qualify as “Baby-Friendly,” a facility must demonstrate national best practices that offer infants the best start by creating an environment where breastfeeding is made easy and immediate mother-baby contact is the norm.

Nearly 420 of the country’s more than 3,000 hospitals and birthing centers have qualified for this accreditation, which is part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

“For many years in the U.S., mothers were directly and indirectly encouraged to feed their babies formula and those mothers who wanted to breastfeed often faced obstacles,” Dawn Hernandez, MSN, RN, NE-BC, RNC-OB, C-EFM, PHN, director of Maternal-Newborn Services at St. Jude Medical Center.

“Our nurses, physicians and breastfeeding specialists are proud to be leaders in giving women the support they need to make the best decision for themselves and their baby.”

Baby-Friendly designation is granted after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The evidence-based practices designated hospitals and facilities must demonstrate range from helping mother initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth, to providing breastfeeding support groups after discharge.

“This prestigious recognition highlights a hospital-wide commitment to our patients’ health that begins at birth and extends through their entire life,” explains Hernandez.