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January 2, 2014 

Elmhurst Hospital Center Recognized for Excellence in Lactation Care

Educational program forges mother-baby bonding and successful breastfeeding initiation rates

Physician assists mother to help prepare for the care of her newborn.

Elmhurst, NY ― Elmhurst Hospital Center (EHC) has received the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) Care Award for its implementation of skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding in the operating room for mothers experiencing a cesarean birth. In 2013, 89 percent of mothers in the hospital started breastfeeding, exceeding the Healthy People 2010 (75 percent) and 2020 (82 percent) goals set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The IBCLC Care Award recognizes hospitals for their dedication in supporting and promoting breastfeeding.  

Skin-to-skin contact is when a baby is placed on a mother’s chest immediately after birth. A blanket is placed across the infant's back and a hat is placed on the baby's head. The baby is happier and kept warm while embracing the mother.

“I am enormously proud of this award and of Elmhurst Hospital Center’s Women and Children’s Division,” said Chris Constantino, Senior Vice President of Queens Health Network and Executive Director of EHC. “They work extremely hard to educate our patients, our staff, and the wider community about the importance of breastfeeding, so I’m glad they are receiving this recognition.”

Elmhurst Hospital is one of the first New York City public hospitals to implement skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding in the operating room and the first to receive the IBCLC Care Award. A multi-disciplinary team of the hospital’s nurses, lactation consultants, obstetricians, midwives, pediatricians, and anesthesiologists worked together to develop the hospital’s award-winning lactation program.

“At Elmhurst Hospital Center we have been educating our patients, promoting and encouraging breastfeeding as the best nutrition for infants,” said Dr. Barry Brown, Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology and an advocate for breastfeeding at EHC. “We believe that an educated community will choose breastfeeding when well-informed about its benefits.”

When a baby is placed skin-to-skin with the mother immediately following birth, it enables the mother to bond with her baby, making it easier for the baby to latch-on when breastfeeding. The patients are able to breastfeed and continue skin-to-skin contact during their recovery in the Mother-Baby Unit. Through its Lactation Clinic, EHC offers new mothers educational resources, breastfeeding techniques, support, and follow-up care.  

“As Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee and a new mother, I am proud to celebrate Elmhurst Hospital Center’s recent recognition for their dedication to breastfeeding education,” City Council Member Julissa Ferreras said. “Not only is Elmhurst Hospital Center a key resource for our community, but through their excellent maternity care and programming, they have successfully readied hundreds of mothers for the care of their newborn babies. I congratulate the staff at EHC’s staff Women and Children’s Health Staff for receiving the IBCLC Care Award. It is well-deserved for their extraordinary display of teamwork.”

For more information about Elmhurst Hospital Center’s breastfeeding program, call (718) 334-5029 or (718) 334-2024.   


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