Long Island’s First ‘Baby-Friendly’ Hospital

Some of the members of Winthrop's Maternal Child Health team who were instrumental in helping the hospital earn the "baby-friendly" designation.
Some of the members of Winthrop’s Maternal Child Health team who were instrumental in helping the hospital earn the “baby-friendly” designation.

Winthrop-University Hospital has been awarded Baby-Friendly Designation by Baby-Friendly, USA. Winthrop is the first hospital on Long Island to achieve this distinct honor. Currently, there are 222 baby-friendly hospitals and birthing centers, nationally.

“On behalf of Winthrop-University Hospital, I am proud of the ongoing effort that was put forth to achieve this prestigious designation,” said John F. Collins, president and CEO of Winthrop-University Hospital. “Certainly many mothers and babies will benefit from the hard work and dedication of every Winthrop nurse, physician and support staff member who made this possible. This is one more example of how Winthrop continues to raise the bar on Long Island for maternal-fetal medicine.”

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the accrediting body and the national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.

Hospitals that achieve the “Baby-Friendly” designation must undergo a rigorous onsite survey as well as implement all of the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding, which represent evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration, and meet the requirements of purchasing breast milk substitutes.

“The criteria are challenging, as they are designed to set the standards for the best possible breastfeeding support for mother and infant in the maternity setting, ensuring high quality of care in this critical area of mother/baby care,” said Trish MacEnroe, executive director of Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., in an award letter recently presented to Winthrop.

“Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based, maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding outcomes and mother/baby bonding,” said Eileen Magri, PhD, RN, NE-BC, vice president of nursing at Winthrop-University Hospital, who spearheaded the Baby-Friendly initiative. “It was an effort that involved support from many areas of the hospital and we wear this designation proudly.”

More than 5,000 babies each year begin their lives in Winthrop’s New Life Center, a modern facility that offers 16 labor-delivery-recovery rooms, each attractively decorated to provide a comfortable environment. While the ambiance is tranquil, expectant moms and dads can also feel secure in the knowledge that the sophisticated technology and vast resources of a major, university-affiliated medical center are close at hand should a complication develop. The hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), one of the most advanced facilities of its kind with class-leading outcomes in both overall survival and survival without complications in extremely premature babies, is staffed with specially trained experts in newborn medicine who care for babies born prematurely or with health problems requiring special attention.

For more information,visit www.winthrop.org or call 866-946-8467.

Written by Leanna Cherry for Winthrop-University Hospital.


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