Skip to main content

Through the eyes of the baby: Beebe Healthcare Receives Legislative Proclamation for Baby-Friendly Designation

Delaware Governor Jack Markell, the House of Representatives and the Senate each honored Beebe Healthcare Tuesday, May 6, for its dedication to providing the best services for babies.

Earlier this year, Beebe Healthcare was the first healthcare system in Delaware to receive the Baby-Friendly designation from the World Health Organization and the United Children’s Fund. The three tributes made Tuesday recognize the hard work of everyone at Beebe, Markell said.

“Beebe received this recognition by working, over a period of five years, to adopt evidence based maternity care practices that stress the importance of breastfeeding and how mothers and infants bond with each other following birth,” said Markell in the tribute. “This tribute recognizes Beebe Healthcare for endeavoring to deliver the highest quality of care and receiving the distinction of being Baby-Friendly.”

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 mother the baby 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 can practice this skin-to-skin experience once they are in the recovery room.

Earning the designation as a Baby Friendly hospital birthing center is a long process that includes many steps, such as lactation education for maternity nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners, midwives, pediatricians, and obstetricians, explains Nancy Hastings, RN, IBCLC, who has worked in Women’s Health at Beebe for more than 30 years. Even the hospitalists, pediatric nurses and Emergency Department staff were updated on the latest information on promoting, preserving and supporting a mother's choice to breastfeed.

The tributes recognize Beebe’s ability to provide care and customer service that is top-notch through the eyes of the baby, said Hastings.

“Babies want to be next to their mother. They want to drink milk from their mother,” Hastings said. “Everyone at Beebe wants all babies to have the very best start.”

Sen. Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes), Rep. Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View), Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown), Sen. F. Gary Simpson (R-Milford) and Sen. Robert Venable, Sr. (D-Laurel) sponsored the legislation to honor Beebe Healthcare.

Read more about Beebe Healthcare’s Women’s Health Pavilion here: /patient-care-services/womens-health

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services. For more information, please visit us online at

Caption: On Tuesday, May 6, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, seated, signed a tribute honoring Beebe Healthcare as the first medical center in Delaware to receive the Baby-Friendly designation. Shown are (left to right) Sen. Ernie Lopez (R-Lewes), Mollie Poland, Nemours Health and Prevention Services; Marisa Cheng, intern with Nemours; Lisl Phelps, MSN, RN, Delaware Health and Social Services; Kate DuPont Phillips, MPH, CHES, PAPHS, Nemours; Beebe Executive Director of Women’s Health Services Bridget Buckaloo; Beebe Healthcare Board Member David A. Herbert; Beebe Women’s Health Nurse Manager Denice Powell, RN; Beebe Women’s Health Nurse Joan Gay, RN; and Beebe Women’s Health Lactation Specialist Nancy Hastings, RN, IBCLC.