Newswise — BROOKLYN, NY, JUNE 17, 2020NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn has achieved the prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation following years of quality improvements and a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States. 

This distinguished honor is awarded to hospitals that adhere to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life. 

“This is an exciting moment for us and our community,” says Eileen DiFrisco, MA, RN, senior director of nursing for women and children’s services at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn. “We’ve undergone a complete cultural shift in the way we care for mothers and babies, from the prenatal to postnatal experience. We are committed to providing leading evidence-based practices to ensure the best health outcomes for newborns and their mothers.” 

The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. According to the WHO, breast milk is the ideal food for infants. It is safe, clean, and contains antibodies that help protect against many common childhood illnesses. 

“The hospital experience strongly influences a mother’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding,” says Ming Tsai, MD, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn. “We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation to ensure that mothers delivering in our facility who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported.” 

NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn becomes the first academic medical center in Brooklyn to join the growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 600 of which are in the United States. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family. 

In addition to focusing on making breastfeeding a viable option for new mothers, baby-friendly care supports mothers and newborns staying close right after birth. This promotes bonding, improves feeding and weight gain for healthier babies, and allows for better sleep for both mother and child. Studies have shown that skin-to-skin time and couplet care increase the likelihood of breast-feeding, which has many benefits for both mother and child. 

“We’re dedicated to giving mom and baby the best start to their lives together,” says Mona Rigaud, MD, chief of pediatrics at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn. “Baby-friendly best practices coupled with a highly trained staff and a renovated care environment now make our facility Brooklyn’s best option for welcoming a new addition to the family.” 

“This designation is the culmination of hard work and determination across our organization, with a goal of helping families start their life together positively,” says Bret J. Rudy, MD, senior vice president and chief of hospital operations at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn. “We are proud to offer an environment that supports best practices that are proven to increase breastfeeding exclusivity and duration. We are committed to give moms who choose to breastfeed the best chance for success.”