Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

National Breastfeeding Month: What does our Baby-Friendly designation mean?

A smiling woman lays in a hospital bed while breastfeeding her baby.

UF Health Shands Hospital has been a Baby-Friendly designated facility since 2015, but what does this mean?

This national distinction for breastfeeding support services is earned when facilities engage in rigorous self-evaluation, staff education and alignment of policies and practices with the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. This is a global initiative by the World Health Organization and administered by Baby-Friendly USA.

Recently, the team that translates the policy into effective and responsive practice paused a moment to enjoy the hospital’s redesignation, which was delayed more than a year by COVID. Cakes were delivered to both inpatient and outpatient areas. This designation is not easy to achieve, and our staff works hard to meet the requirements.

Here’s what this designation means for you and all our families giving birth:

  • Hospital policy reflects the most current, evidence-based recommendations for maternal-child health
  • Staff members all engage in training so that they deliver consistent care, reflecting the policy and most current guidance
  • Education is provided prenatally so that expecting families are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding, what are (rare) contraindications to breastfeeding and how to get started with breastfeeding. Everyone should have the opportunity to make an informed choice about how they feed their infants
  • Inpatient care that includes skin-to-skin time between mother and baby as soon as possible after birth, rooming, support from staff as parents learn their baby’s feeding cues and help initiating breastfeeding
  • Referrals for outpatient breastfeeding support and care

UF Health Shands is proud to be baby-friendly designated.

Baby Friendly Designation Badge

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University of Florida Health represents the shared vision and commitment to patient care excellence of more than 22,000 employees of the University of Florida Health Science Center and UF Health...Read More