We Are a Designated Baby-Friendly USA Hospital

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has been officially awarded Baby-Friendly USA® designation.

Baby- Friendly® designation is a globally known and prestigious recognition awarded to hospitals and birthing facilities that uphold strict breastfeeding and maternal care guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The process of becoming a Baby-Friendly® institution is rigorous and the designation is only awarded to organizations that demonstrate a full commitment to providing the best possible support for breastfeeding mothers and ensuring a high quality of mother/baby care.

Hospitals that earn this designation are required to  adhere to the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding which include:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

We support breastfeeding because evidence shows that mother’s milk provides the optimal nutrition for babies and also provides protection from viruses and bacteria.  Babies who are fed breast milk are less likely to develop respiratory diseases such as asthma or gastrointestinal diseases.  Breastfeeding is also beneficial for a mother’s health as women who breastfeed are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, breast or ovarian cancer.