Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

AnMed Health is internationally recognized as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by Baby-Friendly USA.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF – the United Nations Children's Fund – to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes facilities that implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The initiative assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or utilizing formula safely.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding through the Ten Steps:

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

More details are available on the Baby-Friendly USA website at

Supporters of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative point to the fact that human milk fed through the mother's breast is the normal way for infants to be nourished. Plus, there is an abundance of scientific evidence that indicates lower risks for certain diseases and improved health for mothers and babies who breastfeed.

At AnMed Health, our goal is to provide you with care that that sets the stage for a healthy life for your baby. That's why we practice skin to skin contact immediately after birth, breastfeeding exclusively whenever possible, and mother and child rooming in.

Studies compiled by the International Breastfeeding Centre show that mothers and babies should be together, skin to skin, with the baby naked and not wrapped in a blanket, especially immediately after birth. Benefits include a happier baby more likely to have a stable and normal temperature. Skin-to-skin babies are more likely to have normal heart rates and better blood sugar levels. Also, skin to skin contact after birth allows the baby to be colonized by the same bacteria as the mother. That bacteria colonization and breastfeeding are thought to be important in the prevention of allergic diseases. Skin-to-skin practices and breastfeeding work together in another way, too. Babies who are kept skin to skin with their mothers immediately after birth for at least an hour are more likely to latch on without any help, and they are more likely to latch on well, according to the International Breastfeeding Centre. Breastfed babies gain additional protections against ear infections, asthma, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome.

Mom benefits from breastfeeding, too, by decreased blood loss, reduced risk for postpartum depression, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, ovarian and breast cancer. And breastfeeding burns calories – as much as 500 calories per day.

Mom and baby are roommates during their stay at AnMed Health to maximize opportunities for skin-to-skin contact and convenient breastfeeding.