Clinton, MD (June 13, 2023) – MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center has recently obtained the prestigious international Baby-Friendly designation following a rigorous evaluation conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.

This noteworthy achievement highlights MedStar Southern Maryland’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a collection of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide optimal support for infant feeding during the crucial initial days of a newborn’s life.

Ariam Yitbarek, MHA, BSN, RN, Vice President of Nursing and Chief Nursing Officer at MedStar Southern Maryland, expressed her pride in the organization’s achievement, stating, “This designation is the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination across our organization, all to help families get off to a good start. We are proud to offer an environment that supports best practices shown to increase breastfeeding exclusivity and duration and are committed to giving moms who choose to breastfeed the best chance for success.”

Numerous health authorities worldwide recognize and extensively document the positive health effects of breastfeeding. The Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding emphasized that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”

By attaining the Baby-Friendly designation, MedStar Southern Maryland joins the ranks of over 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers globally, with 604 located in the United States. These facilities provide an environment supporting breastfeeding while respecting each woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

Stephen Michaels, MD, FACHE, the hospital president, expressed his immense pride in the dedication displayed by the team members throughout the Baby-Friendly process. “MedStar Southern Maryland is committed to providing the support, education, and resources moms need to successfully initiate breastfeeding and continue breastfeeding when they leave our care,” he stated.

The attainment of the Baby-Friendly designation solidifies MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s position as a leading healthcare institution dedicated to promoting and supporting breastfeeding. With this prestigious recognition, the hospital demonstrates its unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their newborns, ensuring a healthy start to their precious journey together.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply