search

SILive: RUMC Receives Prestigious Baby Friendly Award

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) in West Brighton announced this week that it has received the prestigious international recognition as a "Baby-Friendly" birth facility.

RUMC is the only Staten Island hospital to be so designated and is the 6th hospital in NYC/Metro area and the 12th hospital in New York State to receive the status.

This important classification is a nod to the fine care provided by RUMC to Staten Island mothers and babies, and to the needed information, confidence and skills given them to successfully start and continue breastfeeding their babies.

"Richmond University Medical Center is already known throughout the region as a go-to facility for expectant mothers, stated the hospital's President and CEO Daniel J. Messina, Ph.D., LNHA, FACHE. "This international recognition demonstrates the exemplary care provided by our clinical staff."

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide; 349 of which are active in the United States.

The designation is granted after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.


"Delivering at a Baby-Friendly Hospital ensures that moms will be making an educated decision regarding feeding choice and then be supported in that decision," said Kathleen DiMauro, Kathleen DiMauro, MS, RN-BC, IBCLC, AVP Women & Children's Services and Nursing Education.

"Moms delivering at a Baby-Friendly Hospital feel more confident in caring for their babies and develop a stronger bond with their babies, whether they are breastfeeding or not," she said.

According to DiMauro, RUMC understands the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of the mother and child, and strives for the highest quality of life for new and growing families on Staten Island.

Despite the focus on breast-feeding, staff members are taught to respect mothers' choices. And many of the same practices that promote breast-feeding also promote bonding. "No woman is ever made to feel guilty as there is no right or wrong in motherhood," DiMauro added.  

At RUMC, moms are encouraged to engage in skin-to-skin care with their baby as well as rooming in, where mothers and infants remain together 24 hours a day.

Sometimes, however, after a delivery the new mom is not able to put the baby skin-to-skin. "At that time we ask the new dad if he would like to participate," added DiMauuro, "And love it!


"The baby is put on the dad's naked chest and in addition to helping dad bond with baby, the baby's temperature remains regulated, the blood sugar remains normal and the baby is calm and cozy."

Additionally, rooming in helps the new parents get to know their babies cues. Where possible, nurses no longer take the babies to the nursery to do testing, weighing, measuring and bathing. Instead, they do it all in the parents' rooms.

DiMauro explained that at RUMC, one nurse cares for both mom and baby at the bedside. Rooming in and this one-on-one attention has been shown to better prepare parents for discharge.

Perhaps most import at, RUMC provide educational resources - from prenatal classes to support groups and one-on one consultations after delivery - to help moms provide their babies the very best start in life.

"Delivering at a Baby-Friendly Hospital instills confidence in parents, promotes bonding between parents and baby and supports research and evidence that offers better outcomes for babies," said DiMauro.

As a Baby-Friendly Hospital, RUMC also supports staff who have chosen to breastfeed. When they return to work they have a Lactation Room available for them to pump their milk in a quiet environment away from their work area.