July 31, 2023

Cooley Dickinson Hospital Earns Baby Friendly Re-Designation

July 31, 2023

Baby-Friendly Designation emblemCooley Dickinson Hospital has been re-designated as “Baby Friendly” by Baby-Friendly USA, the national authority responsible for certification of the global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a worldwide program aimed at ensuring that all mothers and infants receive the best possible start in life by fostering an environment that supports breastfeeding and encourages the essential bond between mother and child.

The award recognizes that Cooley Dickinson is adhering to the organizations’ international standards and evidence-based practices, which have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration. The hospital implements the organization’s “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” and the “International Code of Marketing Breast-milk Substitutes.

“This designation is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that everyone who delivers a baby at Cooley Dickinson is given the resources, information, and support needed to help them and their baby get the best, healthiest start in life,” said Dr. Lynnette Watkins, president and chief operating officer. “Cooley Dickinson has long been a leader in the care of parents and newborns, and this is yet another example of that.”

The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. The Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated 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.”

Cooley Dickinson is part growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding, while respecting every patient’s right to make the best decision for themselves and their family. Cooley Dickinson emphasizes that they support the choices made by all patients, including those who do not breastfeed.

“We understand that each patient’s journey is unique, and our commitment to providing support, regardless of their feeding choices, is unwavering,” said Childbirth Center nurse manager Karen Przybyszewski.

Cooley Dickinson offers a range of resources and educational materials that cater to both breastfeeding and formula-feeding parents ensuring that each person is empowered to make the best decision for themselves and their baby.



About Cooley Dickinson Hospital

Cooley Dickinson Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute care hospital that offers community-based programs and services in Northampton, Massachusetts. A member of the Mass General Brigham System, Cooley Dickinson has been advancing the health of people in the Pioneer Valley since 1886. The organization includes community-based primary care and specialty practices in Hampshire and Southern Franklin counties, and a VNA & Hospice program that provides home health and hospice nursing and rehabilitation visits. We are committed to serving our patients and communities with exceptional, compassionate, and personalized care.