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It’s Official: We are Baby Friendly!

February 2012, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, achieved the "Baby Friendly" designation, developed by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to support policies and practices based on its 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

World-class maternity care
The Birthplace at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, worked for more than two years toward the designation, which has been given to fewer than 140 hospitals in the United States and just two in Minnesota. The certification, achieved by less than 5 percent of all hospitals in the U.S., is a symbol of world-class maternity care and implies a high level of clinical excellence.

The hospital met a total of 48 criteria to achieve the designation. Criteria ranges from how physicians and nurse-midwives are educated, to how we inform families about the advantages of avoiding infant formula and pacifiers during the first few months, and how keeping their baby in their hospital room will increase breastfeeding success.

The certification is part of our goal to develop the Fairview Center for Breastfeeding Excellence. While University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, is the first hospital in the Fairview system to achieve the designation, all Fairview hospitals and medical centers around the metro are working toward this goal as a key initiative of our collective work for mothers and children.

Infants and children who breastfeed benefit from decreased rates of:

• Gastrointestinal infections
• Diabetes
• SIDS and other infant mortality
• Allergic diseases
• Celiac disease
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease
• Childhood obesity
• Childhood leukemia and lymphoma

Babies aren’t the only ones who benefit from breastfeeding. Mothers who breastfeed can expect decreased occurrence of:

• High blood pressure, heart disease, and hyperlipidemia
• Diabetes
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Breast and ovarian cancer
• Postpartum depression

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