South Nassau Earns ‘Baby Friendly’ Designation From World Health Organization

Posted: Aug. 2, 2016

South Nassau Communities Hospital has been named a ‘Baby Friendly’ hospital by the World Health Organization for its commitment to mothers and newborns and in recognition of its effort to foster breastfeeding.

The designation - awarded by the World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Children's Fund’s (UNICEF) via Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. (BFUSA) – has been won by only two hospitals on Long Island.

The ‘Baby Friendly’ designation recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. The designation is for a period of five years during which time South Nassau will establish and maintain a data tracking system to collect and maintain statistics that will be reported annually and are related to the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.”

At a press briefing held today by South Nassau to celebrate and announce the designation, a group of 10 Long Island moms and their children assembled for a “Big Latch On” to commemorate the aware and to emphasize the importance of breastfeeding.  Started in 2005 by Women’s Health Action, “Big Latch On” takes place annually around the world during World Breastfeeding Week, which began yesterday (Monday, August 1) and concludes Sunday, August 7.

“This designation is the latest in a series of recent recognitions by national organizations that South Nassau is a place where quality matters and where patient care is paramount,” said South Nassau’s President & CEO, Richard J. Murphy. “In addition to being a WHO ‘Baby Friendly’ hospital, we recently won recognition from the American College of Surgeons as a Trauma Center and have been approved for new surgical and OB/GYN residency programs by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). These are all signs of our growing role as a regional medical center.

“I congratulate the staff of our Center for New Beginnings for their dedication to our newborns and to our new mothers. The Baby Friendly designation is a significant accomplishment that demonstrates our commitment to making certain that the newest members of the South Nassau family get off to a good start in life.”

 “This achievement is emblematic of our belief that providing our patients clear and concise evidence-based health education and information is essential to providing high-quality, compassionate healthcare services,” said Sue Penque, PhD, RN, CNP, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services at South Nassau.

“While the process to earn the designation was demanding and rigorous, the time and effort that we put into it will translate to immeasurable returns as it relates to enhanced quality of care mothers and their newborns receive and the resulting decrease in morbidity and mortality associated with optimal breastfeeding,” added Clara Mayoral, MD, chair of pediatrics.
The “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” were developed by a team of global experts and consist of evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration. Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing facilities must adhere to the Ten Steps to receive, and retain, the Baby-Friendly designation.  The Ten Steps are:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

BFUSA is the nonprofit national authority for WHO/UNICEF’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. The initiative is predicated on the fact that breastfeeding is the normal way for human infants to be nourished. Scientific evidence points to lower risks for certain diseases and improved health outcomes for both mothers and babies who breastfeed.  Breastfeeding is the natural biological conclusion to pregnancy and an important mechanism for the continued normal development of the infant. With the correct information and the right supports in place, under normal circumstances, most women who choose to breastfeed are able to successfully achieve their goal.

In addition to the “Baby-Friendly” Hospital designation, South Nassau’s Center for New Beginnings is a recipient of the New York State Department of Health’s Perinatal Quality Collaborative Obstetrical Improvement Quality Improvement Award and has a “five star” rating for patient safety and quality care by an independent national hospital and healthcare ratings organization. The rating is based on an in-depth evaluation of the quality of maternity and gynecological care, over a three year period, in the 19 states, which includes New York, where hospital patient outcomes data is publicly available.

Last year, the Center’s team of compassionate, experienced labor and delivery nurses, obstetricians and high-risk pregnancy specialists delivered 2,051 babies.  In addition to advanced maternal-fetal medical technologies, the Center features 26 private family/newborn rooms with first-class hotel like accommodations, spacious labor and delivery rooms, and a 6-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Premature deliveries and newborns with developmental complications or conditions receive the specialized care they need in the neonatal intensive care unit. Staffed by board-certified neonatologists, the unit is equipped with dedicated medical technologies for premature newborns and newborns with special needs. For mothers needing a C-section delivery, the Center has a dedicated state-of-the-art surgical suite to ensure that they experience a model of family-centered care.

The center has been designed specifically for the family. Parents experience the entire birth process in the comfort of the unit’s private labor and delivery suites and continue to learn about and bond with their precious newborns in their spacious and private postpartum rooms. Central to the unit’s Family-Centered philosophy is its 24-hour visitation policy, allowing members of the family to celebrate and participate in this special event.

The accommodations and compassionate care are complemented by breakfasts, lunches and dinners prepared by an award-winning culinary services department and a comprehensive parent-child education program, which helps parents prepare for pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

The Lactation Resource Center, staffed with a team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants to assist and support the breastfeeding family, is an integral component of the comprehensive program which also includes:

  • Maternity Orientation and Tour
  • Prepared Childbirth Class
  • Preparation for Breastfeeding Class
  • Breastfeeding and Working Class
  • Baby Care Class
  • Breastfeeding Support Group
  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Mommy-Baby Yoga
  • Infant/Child CPR
  • Sibling Class
  • Teddy Bear Clinic
  • Safe Sitter® Class

Designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), South Nassau® Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 455 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,000 employees. Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health, pediatric and emergency services. In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty, and is the only hospital on Long Island with the Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies. South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons and is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program. In addition, the hospital has been awarded the Joint Commission’s gold seal of approval as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care; and disease-specific care for hip and joint replacement, wound care and end-stage renal disease. For more information, visit www.southnassau.org.