Baby-Friendly Hospital

Baby-Friendly Hospital

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is raising the standard of care for infant and maternal health as the first hospital in Baltimore, and one of only two in the state of Maryland, to achieve the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation from Baby-Friendly USA.

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Part of the global Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, this five-year designation recognizes facilities that are committed to providing an optimal level of care to mothers and their babies through the support and promotion of breastfeeding practices. Breastfeeding offers a number of health benefits for both mother and baby. Breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protects babies from illness and lowers their risk of several common illnesses. For mothers, breastfeeding helps healing following childbirth and, in the long term, can reduce rates of breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers, osteoporosis, and postpartum depression.

To receive this designation, we offer numerous mother-baby bonding programs, including:

  • Skin-to-skin contact, where the newborn is placed by the doctor or nurse unclothed on the mother’s bare chest after birth. Skin-to-skin contact has many benefits for the baby including regulating temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and sleep pattern, and reducing crying. It also benefits mother by increasing her breast milk production and is an opportunity for both parents to bond with their new baby.
  • Rooming-In for mother and newborn, allowing them to be together in a private room 24 hours a day, which helps facilitate mother-baby bonding, creates a calm environment, allows mother to rest, increases mother’s response to breastfeeding cues, and encourages milk production. Our attentive staff delivers personalized, couplet care so the same nurse cares for both mother and baby.
  • Quiet Time from 1 to 3 a.m. and p.m., where nurses and staff will not enter the Mother and Baby Unit unless specifically asked to do so, or unless it is medically necessary. During these hours, mother can relax, sleep, become more comfortable breastfeeding, or simply spend time with their newborn.
  • Lactation services after delivery, where our team of experts, including lactation consultants, nurses, obstetric physicians, and neonatologists, are on hand to help mothers initiate breastfeeding and maintain practice upon discharge from the hospital.

In the event a baby needs to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), MedStar Franklin Square has special initiatives in place to improve the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for even the most fragile infants—resulting in 95% of NICU mothers being able to provide breast milk to their infants while in the NICU.

Our goal as a Baby-Friendly Hospital is to give mothers the knowledge, skills, and confidence to successfully breastfeed their baby. We offer ongoing consult services for new mothers who delivered at MedStar Franklin Square. We also offer community support at our Breastfeeding and New Moms Support Group.