A “Baby Friendly” Hospital
In 2014, Queens Hospital Center received the very prestigious designation of being named a “Baby Friendly” hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Queens Hospital Center is the only hospital in Queens County and one of only four in all of New York City to achieve this designation. Queens Hospital Center underwent a rigorous 2-day survey by an assessment team from Baby-Friendly USA where it demonstrated successful implementation of the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”, which represent evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.
Hospitals with the “Baby Friendly” designation are recognized for maternity facilities offering the highest levels of breastfeeding education and support and for having environments that foster and encourage maternal-infant bonding. The goal of Queens Hospital Center is simple: healthy mom, baby and family.
Baby-Friendly care means:
- We put family-centered care into practice by respecting every family’s choices about their upcoming birth experience. We provide consistent and accurate information so that mothers can make informed choices.
- We individually educate each expectant mother about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to recognize infant feeding cues and how to soothe their babies.
- We make sure that mother and baby have skin-to-skin contact immediately after both vaginal and cesarean deliveries to promote the bonding and health benefits for moms and babies.
- We room mothers and babies together throughout their hospital stay.
- All families are taught how to safely feed their babies.
Baby-Friendly Hospitals have demonstrated these Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care staff in the 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 infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
- Give no pacifier or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge.
As a result of the implementation of the Baby-Friendly practices, the number of new mothers exclusively breastfeeding during their Queens Hospital Center stay increased dramatically as has the participation in our breastfeeding educational programs and La Leche League meetings. Baby-Friendly is not just about breastfeeding – the entire family benefits from a healthier lifestyle.
Each year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organizes World Breastfeeding Week during the first week in August. This special week is recognized in 120+ different countries around the world. To kick off World Breastfeeding Week, Queens Hospital Center annually participates in a global event called “The Big Latch On” – an attempt to break the world’s record for the number of children simultaneously breastfeeding in 846 locations across the globe and to raise awareness and garner support for breastfeeding mothers everywhere.
Support and Contact Information at Queens Hospital Center:
- La Leche League Meetings : Every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. on the 2nd Floor of the Main Building in Room A270. 718-883-3650
- Breastfeeding Clinic: Every Friday Morning between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the Pediatric Center, Pavilion 151. 718-883-3301
- Mother Baby Unit: 718-883-3650
- Labor and Delivery Room: 718-883-3660
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: 718-883-3939
- OB Ambulatory Care: 718-883-3245
- Childbirth Class: Every Friday 718-883-3245