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Members of the Baby-Friendly Steering Group recently celebrated YNHH’s recognition as a Baby-Friendly-designated birth facility. The international designation honors hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Baby-Friendly USA recently awarded Yale New Haven Hospital prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly-designated birth facility.

"We are very proud and thrilled that our team has been recognized with this distinction," said Cynthia Sparer, senior vice president, Operations, and executive director, Yale New Haven Children's Hospital. "The clinical excellence and family-centered care we provide each day are reflected in this honor. This recognition demonstrates the team's exemplary efforts in providing unparalleled care."

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for implementation of the Baby- Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the designation recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

"Our Baby-Friendly designation is an honorable achievement resulting from years of hard work and dedication to the goal of family-centered care within women's services," said Katie Donohue, RN, director of Women's Services.

"The criteria are designed to set the highest standards for the best possible breastfeeding support for mother and infant in the maternity setting. Our entire team is very proud to be recognized with this designation."

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide, including 354 in the U.S. The designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey. Hospitals maintain the award by continuing to practice the Ten Steps, as demonstrated by a variety of quality processes.