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Family Birthing and Maternity Services, St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport CT

St. Vincent’s Medical Center is a
“Baby-Friendly” Hospital

St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport CTWhen you step into St. Vincent’s Family Birthing Center (FBC), you are struck by the calm, peaceful environment.

A warm and welcoming haven where daily celebrations of life lift everyone’s spirits, the FBC takes pride in the fact that St. Vincent’s Medical Center was the first hospital in Fairfield County and only the third in the state to receive the designation as a Baby-Friendly™ Hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through their global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in 2010.

What is “Baby-Friendly”

It’s more than just a slogan- it’s a commitment and a designation. St. Vincent’s is proud to be one of only a few hospitals nationwide to have earned this coveted designation, which signifies excellence in maternal and infant care. Global studies show that the quality of early care and nutrition have enormous impact on the survival and future wellness of infants. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, seeks to improve infant health by implementing a global best-practices program.

Earning the baby- friendly designation:

To earn the Baby- Friendly designation,hospitals must follow a strict set of guidelines and requirements. These include:

  • Completing a period of comprehensive training and preparation
  • Providing new mothers with optimal care, information and instruction to successfully breastfeed or feed formula to their babies
  • Undergoing a rigorous yearly BFHI review

Hitting every mark set by the BFHI didn’t happen by accident. This lengthy process required determination and hard work.

In addition, a spirit of shared purpose, mutual respect and patient-focused dedication guided our full staff including: Anesthesiologists, Obstetricians, Neonatologists, Perinatologists, Pediatricians, Nurses, Lactation Consultants, Technicians and Housekeeping Staff.

Why “Baby-Friendly”?

The Baby-Friendly concept grew out of studies showing that breastfeeding in infancy promotes good health throughout life. Baby-Friendly hospitals provide guidance in helping parents to make informed choices about how to feed and care for their babies. 

Babies in St. Vincent's Family Birthing Center (maternity center) remain in mom’s room (rooming-in) throughout their stay to make it easier to learn about baby’s feeding cues and to promote mother-infant bonding. However, for premature infants or those with problems, St. Vincent’s has a fully equipped Special Care Nursery, two neonatologists, and pediatricians specializing in the care of premature newborns or those needing intensive care and monitoring, covering 24/7.

Experienced nursing staff encourage “skin to skin” care, a best practice that encourages contact between mother and baby. This, along with the practice of rooming in, adds to the new parents’ confidence in caring for their newborn, and also gives the unit its quiet and serene atmosphere.

Baby-Friendly hospitals ensure the highest level of care in infant nutrition education, mother-infant bonding, and confidence-building in the parenting process. As part of its journey to attain BFHI, the Family Birthing Center offers baby care classes, childbirth preparation and breastfeeding classes, infant massage and mother-baby support groups.

The FBC encourages breastfeeding within the first hour of life and thereafter exclusively until breastfeeding is well established. Families enjoy full time 24/7 lactation (breastfeeding) support and instruction from certified consultants and nurses highly trained on all feeding and parenting practices. 

Also signaling its leadership in the promotion of infant nutrition best practices, the FBC team’s electronic medical record developed to track breastfeeding statistics has been selected by the United States Breastfeeding Committee to aid hospitals across the nation in data collection.

Only three percent of hospitals nationally have received the designation. St. Vincent’s is proud to say it is the first in the area to deliver Baby-Friendly care!

For more information on the Baby Friendly designation, please call the Lactation Consultants at 203-576-6087 or click in to learn more about maternity and birthing services at St. Vincent's Medical Center 

Contact us

To find a St. Vincent’s physician who can discuss your health concerns or those of a loved one, please click on our FIND A DOCTOR tool and search by specialty, practice, location or keyword. We’re here to help you locate the medical expert you need.

To speak with a St. Vincent's Care Line representative, call (877) 255-7847

To speak with somone at the front desk of the Medical Center, please call (203) 576-6000

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