Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center recently received the prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly® Designated birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. The hospital is just one of five Houston area facilities, including Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, that have received the designation.
“This designation is a reflection of all the hard work our affiliated physicians, nurses, and other staff members put in daily to ensure our community’s youngest members begin their lives on a healthy path,” said Paul O’Sullivan, Senior Vice President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Memorial City.
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the 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 Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. Memorial Hermann Memorial City delivered about 3,800 babies in 2016; eighty-five to ninety percent of mothers were breastfeeding when they left the facility.
“Achieving Baby-Friendly designation is proof of our commitment to providing the highest quality care to mothers and infants. We want mothers to feel supported by the hospital staff as they take on one of life’s greatest and most rewarding challenges,” said O’Sullivan.
There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 403 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.