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Breastfeeding provides health benefits for both baby and mom. It’s a natural way to provide the nutrients your newborn needs to grow and thrive.

As a Baby-Friendly designated hospital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Women & Infants Center are committed to promoting and supporting breastfeeding and baby/mother bonding. We are one of the only hospitals in the state to receive this designation.

A woman holds her newborn, practicing the baby-friendly technique of skin-to-skin contact.

What Is a Baby-Friendly Hospital?

Research suggests that breastfed babies have a lower risk for certain diseases, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). For moms, breastfeeding can lower their risks for type 2 diabetes and certain cancers – and may help them return to their prepregnancy weight more quickly.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global initiative launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991. The goal of the initiative is to support and recognize hospitals that provide tools, education and assistance to new mothers so that they can successfully breastfeed their babies.

To receive this designation, Barnes-Jewish Hospital implemented the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which numerous major maternity and children’s health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), endorse. The AAP recommends that mothers feed their children breast milk, exclusively, for six months. After that, the AAP recommends adding various solid foods while continuing to breastfeed until the child is age one or older.

We support new moms in their efforts to breastfeed and bond with their newborns by offering guidance and assistance to:

  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are apart from their infants because of a health issue
  • Encourage feeding on demand
  • Allow parents and infants to remain together 24 hours a day by rooming together
  • Provide a certified lactation educator
  • Offer breastfeeding classes
  • Offer a free breastfeeding weekly support group

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a lactation consultant at the Women & Infants Center, call 855.925.0631.