Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

Montefiore’s Jack D. Weiler Hospital / Einstein Campus and Montefiore Hospital / Wakefield Campus are recognized as Baby-Friendly designated birth facilities from Baby-Friendly USA—a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Montefiore is New York City’s only health system to have two hospitals simultaneously awarded the Baby-Friendly designation.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative launched in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The Baby-Friendly designation is granted after a rigorous on-site survey is completed and hospitals have demonstrated adherence to the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which include having breastfeeding policies in writing, consistently training staff on policy implementation and informing all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

Montefiore’s Commitment to Helping New Moms Breastfeed their Babies

Breastfeeding is a scientifically proven way to nourish a newborn while lowering risks for certain diseases and improving health outcomes for both mothers and babies. Providers at Weiler and Wakefield, where a total 6,200 babies are delivered each year, offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

We have a long-standing commitment to prenatal and maternity care, opening its Group Prenatal Care Center in 2002, the first medical center in the New York metropolitan area to offer expectant mothers healthcare in a collective setting.

This community approach to childbirth gives women the opportunity to meet monthly in a group setting to ask questions and develop a closer relationship with their obstetrician. They receive valuable information on topics related to health and pregnancy, such as:

  • Nutrition
  • Preparing for labor and delivery
  • Breastfeeding and mother/baby bonding
  • Expectations for bringing your baby home from the hospital
  • Post-pregnancy birth control options
  • Parenthood

To support new mothers in a lactation-friendly environment, we opened Lactation Suites in 2014. These rooms are available for patients and Montefiore Associates who continue to breastfeed after returning to work from maternity leave.

Why is the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Important?

Baby-Friendly hospital staff undergoes extensive training to ensure that all health care staff is knowledgeable in maternity care as it pertains to the importance of breastfeeding and feeding cues, how to initiate and continue breastfeeding, and mother/baby bonding such as rooming-in and skin-to-skin contact.