Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Skip to main content

Beebe Healthcare Earns Re-designation as Baby-Friendly Birth Center


Baby-Friendly USA announced recently that Beebe Healthcare has received prestigious international recognition as a Re-Designated Baby-Friendly birth facility.

In Delaware, Beebe Healthcare was the first hospital to earn designation as a Baby-Friendly hospital in 2013.

This international designation was launched as part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in 1991 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It recognizes birthing centers that successfully implement the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes.

While the focus of Baby-Friendly is on breastfeeding, it also supports the importance of how a mother and infant bond with each other following birth, regardless of feeding method. Immediately after birth, the labor and delivery nurse gives the baby to the mother to hold on her bare chest, skin-to-skin, to assist in stabilizing the baby’s temperature and blood sugar and to begin the bonding process. Mothers that give birth by cesarean section at Beebe also have the opportunity to have skin-to-skin contact following birth.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 570 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” re-designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.


STEP 1: Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all healthcare staff.
STEP 2: Train all healthcare staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
STEP 3: Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
STEP 4: Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
STEP 5: Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.
STEP 6: Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
STEP 7: Practice rooming-in to allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
STEP 8: Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
STEP 9: Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
STEP 10: Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.