Saint Francis Hospital is proud to announce that it has achieved the highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.
This distinguished honor demonstrates that Saint Francis is adhering 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 Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.
“This designation is the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination across our organization, all with a goal of helping families get off to a good start,” said Karianne Silverman, M.D., Interim Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Francis. “We are proud to offer an environment that supports best practices shown to increase breastfeeding exclusivity and duration. 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.”
The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. For example, the Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”
Saint Francis joins a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 598 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.
“Saint Francis has long been a recognized leader in the care of women and newborns,” said Thomas Burke, BPharm, MBA, President, Saint Francis Hospital. “This designation is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that every woman who delivers a baby at our facility is given the resources, information, and support needed to help her and her baby get the best, healthiest start in life.”
About Saint Francis Hospital
Saint Francis Hospital has been an anchor institution in Connecticut since 1897. Saint Francis is a member of Trinity Health Of New England and Trinity Health, one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. Saint Francis Hospital, a Level 1 Trauma Center, is a 617-bed hospital, a major teaching hospital, and the largest Catholic hospital in New England. Other Saint Francis entities include the Comprehensive Women’s Health Center, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Smilow Cancer Hospital Yale-New Haven at Saint Francis, Trinity Health Of New England Medical Group, and Community Health and Well Being, which includes the Curtis D. Robinson Center for Health Equity, the Joan C. Dauber Food Pantry, and the Greater Hartford Family Advocacy Center. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @SaintFrancisCT
About Baby-Friendly USA
As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the U.S. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at www.babyfriendlyusa.org.