St. Jude Recognized for Optimal Care to Mothers and Babies
St. Jude Medical Center has once again earned accreditation as a Baby-Friendly
Hospital, an honor recognizing hospitals and birthing centers that provide
optimum, evidence-based care to mothers and babies.
To qualify as “Baby-Friendly,” a facility must demonstrate
national best practices that offer infants the best start in life by creating
an environment where breastfeeding is made easy and immediate mother-baby
contact is the norm.
Nearly 420 of the country’s more than 3000 hospitals and birthing
centers have qualified for this accreditation, which is part of the Baby-Friendly
Hospital Initiative (BFHI) sponsored by the World Health Organization
(WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
St. Jude Medical Center received its first accreditation in 2011 and its
reaccreditation in 2016, each time demonstrating that new mothers receive
the information and support they need to create the healthiest beginning
for their baby, through strong mother-infant bonding and greater confidence
in breastfeeding their newborn.
More than two decades of research has established numerous advantages to
breastfeeding for both mother and baby. Breast-milk contains antibodies
and enzymes that reduce a baby’s risk of ear infections, pneumonia,
allergies, diabetes and obesity. For women, breastfeeding decreases the
risk of ovarian and breast cancers as well as postpartum depression and diabetes.
This prestigious recognition highlights a hospital-wide commitment to our
patients’ health that begins at birth and extends through their
entire life,” explains Dawn Hernandez, MSN, RN, NE-BC, RNC-OB, C-EFM,
PHN, Director, Maternal-Newborn Services.
Baby-Friendly designation is granted after a rigorous on-site survey is
completed. The evidence-based practices designated hospitals and facilities
must demonstrate range from helping mother initiate breastfeeding within
one hour of birth, to providing breastfeeding support groups after discharge.
“For many years in the U.S., mothers were directly and indirectly
encouraged to feed their babies formula and those mothers who wanted to
breastfeed oftenfaced obstacles,” explains Dawn. “Our nurses,
physicians and breastfeeding specialists are proud to be leaders in giving
women the support they need to make the best decision for themselves and