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Day Kimball Hospital Receives International “Baby-Friendly” Designation from Baby-Friendly USA


Deborah Levesque, RN, BSN, IBCLC and clinical coordinator for Day Kimball Medical Group OB/GYN services (left) and Rachel Katsoulis, RNC-MNN and operations coordinator for Day Kimball Hospital’s Maternal Child Health Department (right), display the Baby Friendly Initiatives “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” at the hospital’s Burdick Family Birthing Center Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

DKH One of Only Six Connecticut Hospitals to Receive the Designation

PUTNAM, CONN. -- Day Kimball Hospital has received Baby-Friendly designation from Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., the national authority for the global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States. The prestigious international award recognizes birthing facilities who successfully implement the initiative’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

BFHI is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. 

BFHI is implemented in the United States by Baby Friendly USA, (BFUSA). According to BFUSA, there are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide with 329 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States.

Deborah Levesque, RN, BSN, IBCLC and clinical coordinator for Day Kimball Medical Group OB/GYN services, was instrumental in putting the measures in place required for the hospital to attain the designation. She said, “I would like to thank the entire DKH staff for their support during this lengthy and intensive process. We should be very proud, as we are among a small minority of hospitals and birth centers that have been recognized as Baby-Friendly, with about 16% of US hospitals and birth centers and only six hospitals in Connecticut currently designated as Baby-Friendly.”

Rachel Katsoulis, RNC-MNN and operations coordinator for the hospital’s Maternal Child Health Department also played a major role in the multi-year qualification process. She added, “At Day Kimball Hospital we offer top-notch care for women and newborns in a family-centered, warm and welcoming environment. We have always been committed to providing high-quality maternal care, achieving optimal infant feeding outcomes and enhancing mother/baby bonding, so this designation validates our work. We are honored to be recognized.” 

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, a Baby-Friendly designation. 

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding 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.

The Ten Steps are endorsed and promoted by the major maternal and child health authorities in the United States, including: 

  • American Academy of Family Physicians 
  • American Academy of Nurses
  • American Academy of Pediatrics 
  • American College of Nurse-Midwives
  • Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine 
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 
  • Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
  • National WIC Association 
  • U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force 
  • U.S. Surgeon General

Related Resources

Women's Health services
Day Kimball Hospital: Burdick Family Birthing Center


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