A mother and newborn enjoy skin-to-skin bonding time at Erlanger East Hospital. (Photo: Erlanger)

Erlanger East Hospital has received international recognition from Baby-Friendly USA as a Baby-Friendly birth facility.

To achieve the recognition, the hospital demonstrated that the policies and care practices meet the gold standard for mother/baby care practices related to breast-feeding.

Staff is trained regarding care of breast-feeding mothers and babies, who stay close to their mothers right after birth so that they can feed as soon as they are ready, and healthy babies stay in the room with their mothers, day and night. The hospital also offers breast-feeding support after discharge.


Dr. James Bolton, an OB/GYN physician at Erlanger Women’s Institute for Specialized Health, said in a prepared statement:

Erlanger demonstrates its determination to provide the highest quality maternity care by achieving Baby-Friendly status at both campuses. Baby-friendly promotes maternal and newborn health, as well as improved bonding by promoting immediate skin to skin contact and early breast-feeding. The training involves all levels of hospital personnel and even extends into the Erlanger OB/GYN practices.

Erlanger Health System annually delivers more than 70 percent of the region’s babies between the labor and delivery services offered at Erlanger East and Baroness Hospitals, according to a news release.

Baby-Friendly USA Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, which is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breast-feeding mothers and their babies.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide.

Currently, there are 498 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States, according to a news release.