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NYU Langone Medical Center Awarded Official Baby-Friendly USA Designation The Only Academic Medical Center in NYC to be Recognized

The Only Academic Medical Center in NYC to be Recognized

NYU Langone Medical Center is pleased to announce that it was recently designated an official Baby-Friendly™ Hospital. It is the only academic medical center in New York City to receive this designation and the second hospital in New York City. The Baby-Friendly™ designation has only been awarded to 105 hospitals and birth centers nationally.

The Baby-Friendly™ Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding. Studies have shown that breastfeeding can reduce infant hospitalizations and pediatric clinic visits.

"Mounting scientific evidence demonstrates the importance of breast feeding for the health and well being of both baby and mother. For a number of reasons, modern society has drifted away from this important practice. The Baby-Friendly™ designation for NYU Langone Medical Center recognizes the commitment made by our nurses and doctors to set things right again. It also represents our commitment to creating the best possible birthing experience," said David Keefe, MD, Stanley H. Kaplan Professor and chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

"Key to this initiative is a staff that's committed to educating, encouraging and supporting the breast-feeding mother and her new baby," Catherine Manno, MD, Pat and John Rosenwald Professor of Pediatrics; chair of the Department of Pediatrics, added.

Baby-Friendly™ hospitals and birth centers uphold the WHO International code of marketing of breast milk substitutes by offering education and educational materials that promote human milk rather than other infant food or drinks and by refusing to accept or distribute free or subsidized supplies of breast milk substitutes, nipples and other feeding devices.

In addition to focusing on making breastfeeding a viable option for new mothers, baby-friendly care encourages mothers and newborns to be together 24 hours a day. 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 rooming-in increase the likelihood of breast-feeding, which has many benefits for both mother and child.

"We are honored to have received this prestigious designation. It is arecognition of the interdisciplinary collaboration that has been ongoing for the past few years to improve our service to our patients and community. Our goal is to help women to make informed decisions regarding feeding options for their newborn and to support them in their choice. NYULMC is the only academic medical center in NYC to have been designated Baby-Friendly™ and I am extremely proud of this achievement," said Marge W. Lilienthal, senior director of nursing, Women's and Children's Services.

"We applaud Tisch Hospital at NYU Langone for becoming a Baby-Friendly™ Hospital," said Thomas Farley, MD, New York City health commissioner. Breastfed babies are healthier than babies fed formula. They are less likely to get various infections as infants and less likely to develop other serious health problems, including asthma and diabetes, later in life. To breastfeed successfully, women benefit from the support from doctors, hospitals and communities. We appreciate the Medical Center's support of women and their infants, and we urge other hospitals to join them as Baby-Friendly™ Hospitals."

The Baby-Friendly™ initiative at NYU Langone Medical Center was supported in part by grants from Shyamli and Robert Milam and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Health.

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