Baton Rouge General receives Baby-Friendly Designation from UNICEF/WHO

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Baton Rouge General (BRG) announced today that it has received the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation from the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The designation was created to assist hospitals in providing support and education to new moms about the benefits of breastfeeding. Research shows that babies who are breastfed have fewer ear infections and are less likely to have asthma, obesity, or type 2 diabetes. As part of the Baby-Friendly initiative, all healthy newborns at Baton Rouge General have skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately after birth. Bonding time is not interrupted for unnecessary medical procedures and babies are encouraged to stay with their parents throughout their stay in the Birth Center.

The CDC and WHO recommend that mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of a child’s life, but today only 1 in 4 babies in the U.S. meet those recommendations. Out of more than 6,000 hospitals and birthing centers nationwide, just over 500 have received the Baby-Friendly designation. BRG is one of only 12 hospitals in Louisiana to earn the recognition.

Earning the designation is a multi-year process that requires years of planning and preparation, followed by an on-site survey that ensures the hospital is practicing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. “By helping our new moms nourish, nurture and bond with their new little ones, they will have the confidence and skills they need to successfully start and continue breastfeeding their babies,” said Chief Nursing Officer Monica Nijoka. “This designation demonstrates our focus on offering moms everything they need to give their babies the best possible start in life.”

For more information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, visit For details about BRG’s Birth Center, visit

Contributed by Baton Rouge General