Eskenazi Health Recognized as Baby-Friendly Hospital

The Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital has officially been designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, making Eskenazi Health the only such facility in Indianapolis.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched in 1991 as a global health initiative to support optimal infant feeding. The BFHI seeks to promote breastfeeding and lactation through supportive evidence-based practices and access to timely resources for the care of parents and their newborns. BFHI promotes the health and development of newborns by ensuring that health care facilities provide timely and evidence-based care to mothers and newborns.

Baby-Friendly facilities promote and implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in their hospitals and health centers. In accordance with these standards, Eskenazi Health offers support for parents to initiate breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after birth. In addition to lactation education and support, Eskenazi Health enables parents and their infants to remain together and practice rooming-in 24 hours a day.

While Baby Friendly promotes human milk feeding, it does not shame parents who choose to formula feed or whose babies require formula. Rather, the program is about putting practices in place that support and empower a parent’s decision on how the parent wants to feed the baby, and then providing the timely education, support and resources for the parent to meet that goal.

To learn more about the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, please visit

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