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Yale New Haven Hospital Re-Designated as a “Baby-Friendly” Hospital

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

NEW HAVEN, CT (July 18, 2023) –Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) has once again achieved the highly prestigious international “Baby-Friendly” designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.

“We are very proud and delighted that our team has been once again recognized with this distinction,” said Cynthia Sparer, executive vice president of Yale New Haven Health, president of Ambulatory Services, and executive director of Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. “This designation is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that every patient is given the resources, information and support needed, should they choose to breastfeed.”

This distinguished honor demonstrates YNHH’s ongoing adherence to the highest standards of care for individuals who choose to breastfeed and their babies. According to the American Pediatric Association exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months after birth provides an optimal source of nutrition for babies. The Baby-Friendly standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for infant feeding support in the first days of a newborn’s life.

“The hospital experience strongly influences an individual’s ability to start and continue breastfeeding,” said Katherine Campbell, MD, medical director of Obstetrical Services at YNHH. “We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation to ensure that those delivering at YNHH who intend to breastfeed, as well as those who cannot or decide not to breastfeed, are fully supported.”

“Our Baby-Friendly re-designation is a wonderful achievement resulting from years of hard work and dedication to provide quality family-centered care,” said Katie Donohue, RN, YNHH interim vice president, Women’s Health. “Our team is proud to offer an environment that supports individuals who choose to breastfeed and are committed to helping them achieve success.”

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide, 604 of which are in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), part of Yale New Haven Health, is a nationally recognized, 1,541-bed, not-for-profit hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Yale School of Medicine (YSM). Founded as the fourth voluntary hospital in the U.S. in 1826, today, YNHH has two New Haven-based campuses, and also includes Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital. YNHH has received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the nation’s highest honor of nursing excellence. YNHH has a combined medical staff of about 4,500 university and community physicians practicing in more than 100 specialties.