HHC NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln became the first hospital in the Bronx to be designated “Baby-Friendly” by Baby-Friendly USA. This is part of an initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve maternal and infant health by promoting breast-feeding.
Under the leadership of PAGNY Dr. Shefali Khanna, Chief of Pediatrics, and PAGNY Dr. Ray Mercado, Chief of Ob-Gyn at Lincoln Hospital, this joint initiative was successfully steered by PAGNY Dr. Ronald Bainbridge, Associate Director in Neonatology in the Pediatrics Department, along with Mrs. Ilana Taubman and Mrs. Cherry-Belle Siriban of the HHC clinical staff.
“I was beyond elated upon learning of Lincoln Hospital’s designation as a ‘Baby-Friendly’ Hospital,” said Dr. Bainbridge (in photo). “This marks the second time that I have been associated with an HHC hospital’s successful effort to be a designated ‘Baby-Friendly’ institution. I chaired the Breast-feeding Committee while I was Director of Neonatology at Queens Hospital. During my tenure there, Queens Hospital achieved ‘Baby-Friendly’ status. I thought then that I could never be happier. The second time around is truly sweet. However, most important is the fact that this was a team effort that says to our community, ‘We’re looking out for what’s best for your babies.’”
Lincoln’s Breast-feeding team leader PAGNY Dr. Ronald Bainbridge (center), PAGNY Dr. Shefali Khanna, Chief of Pediatrics (right), and HHC Nurse Ilana Taubman (left).
The Baby-Friendly initiative encourages hospitals and birthing centers to offer an optimal level of care for breast-feeding mothers and their babies. It recognizes birth facilities worldwide that offer mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breast-feeding their babies. The prestigious “Baby-Friendly” designation is given only after a rigorous on-site survey has been completed, and is reviewed every five years.
Lincoln had 2,267 births in 2014. Of those, 93 percent of the mothers initiated breast-feeding, demonstrating the strong desire to provide optimal feeding for their newborns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “2014 Breast-feeding Report Card,” 80 percent of infants born in 2011 in New York State were breast-fed, with only 55.8 percent still being breast-fed at the age of six months.
The Lincoln Medical Breast-feeding Group
(Photos in this section were taken by Linda Morales)