Having a baby soon? If you’ve been researching where to deliver,
chances are you’ve come across the term "Baby-Friendly."
Baby-Friendly designated birth facilities – such as our
Family Birth Center – have earned international recognition for their efforts in giving
babies a healthy start in life. To date, only about 600 birth facilities
out of the thousands nationwide have earned the prestigious Baby-Friendly
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about the designation,
causing some soon-to-be parents to avoid giving birth at a Baby-Friendly
facility. That's why we want to clarify what Baby-Friendly actually
means — and doesn’t mean — so you can feel confident
in your choice of where to deliver your baby.
Baby-Friendly Means a Verified Optimal Level of Care
The Baby-Friendly designation is a global initiative sponsored by the World
Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
and promoted by the
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The rigorous designation requires birth centers to have policies
that enhance mother-baby bonding, offer optimal care for infant feeding
and ensure a baby’s nutritional needs are adequately met, regardless
of whether a mom chooses to breastfeed or formula-feed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists (ACOG) are among several major health authorities that
support Baby-Friendly guidelines. Choosing a birth center with the designation
Baby-Friendly USA, a third-party accrediting body, has verified the facility follows the
highest standards for mom-and-baby care practices.
What It Means for You and Your Baby
1. Support for successful breastfeeding or formula-feeding.
How to feed your baby is a very personal choice. And, we respect your right
to decide what’s right for your family. Our staff members will provide
you with the education, tools and support to help you make the best feeding
decision for you and your baby, whether that be to breastfeed or formula-feed.
If you choose breastfeeding, our board-certified lactation consultants can help you build the confidence
and skills needed for success:
- A team of registered nurses with lactation certification will support you
every day while you’re in the hospital. This support is the reason
nearly all babies born at our Family Birth Center go home successfully
- After you and baby have gone home, you can receive one-on-one outpatient
breastfeeding support from a board-certified lactation consultant who
can help with a variety of breastfeeding concerns or challenges.
- We offer free post-partum breastfeeding and mother-baby support groups,
so you’ll never be at a loss about what to do.
If you choose formula-feeding, or if it’s medically indicated, our care team will educate you
on how to prepare formula and feed it safely to your baby.
2. Support for mother-baby bonding.
As a Baby-Friendly birth facility, our Family Birth Center implements practices
to help moms and newborns establish a strong bond:
Snuggling skin-to-skin. As soon as your full-term, healthy baby is born, he or she will be placed
skin-to-skin, belly-down, directly on your chest. Snuggling skin-to-skin
lets you and your baby get to know each other, helps soothe your newborn
and facilitates breastfeeding. Continuing skin-to-skin contact throughout
your hospital stay can help your baby keep warm, stay calm and cry less.
Private, spacious rooms for rooming-in. Moms and infants room together day and night to encourage maternal-infant
bonding and promote early breastfeeding for moms who wish to do so. Staying
together round-the-clock helps you learn your baby’s feeding cues
and needs, all under the expert guidance of highly trained staff.
Myths vs. Facts About Baby-Friendly
There is a wealth of misinformation regarding the Baby-Friendly initiative.
Here are answers to some common Baby-Friendly myths and concerns.
Myth: Baby-Friendly birth centers deny formula feeding.
Fact: It’s true that Baby-Friendly facilities are committed to fully
informing new mothers that scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates
breast milk feeding is the optimal nutrition for infants. However, that
doesn’t translate into denying formula.
We recognize that breastfeeding can be challenging for many women, both
physically and emotionally. By having trained nurses— available
24 hours a day — our Family Birth Center helps mothers achieve their
feeding goals, whether that be exclusively breastfeeding, combining formula
with breastfeeding or formula-only feeding.
Myth: I’ll be “forced” to breastfeed.
Fact: A popular myth is that Baby-Friendly facilities “force” mothers
to breastfeed. Nothing could be further from the truth. We respect every
mom’s right to make an informed decision about how to feed her baby
and empower her to carry out that decision.
Myth: I won’t be able to rest and recover with rooming-in.
Fact: Studies show that new moms rest better and longer when their babies are
in the same room.
Additionally, our Family Birth Center has “quiet hours” in
the daytime, when we limit interruptions and visitors. During this time
moms are encouraged to nap and rest or take an aromatherapy bath or shower.
Our staff members work as a team to facilitate this.
We also teach new moms a variety of positions for breastfeeding, with the
goal of helping them heal and rest while breastfeeding. Our large, queen-size
family beds often help make breastfeeding comfortable, enabling rest.
Tour Our Baby-Friendly Family Birth Center
Get an inside look at our Baby-Friendly Family Birth Center and its family-friendly
birthing and postpartum rooms. This free 2.5-hour session is a perfect
here to register.