The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative’s goal is to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies through breastfeeding and immediate skin-to-skin bonding.
As a Baby-Friendly hospital, Palmetto Health Richland is staffed with lactation consultants who assist mothers in gaining the skills and confidence they need to breastfeed both during their hospital stay and after they are discharged. Our lactation boutique is stocked with breastfeeding products and supplies that can be used during and after a hospital birth. The boutique is located in the 4th floor waiting area.
Other important practices of Baby-Friendly hospitals include encouraging skin-to-skin contact between mothers and newborns and 'rooming in.' Both practices encourage bonding and improve the newborn’s ability to breastfeed. Studies also show that immediate skin-to-skin contact help newborns maintain their temperature better normalize heart and breathing rates and reduce their likeliness of crying.
There are 3,200 birthing hospitals and centers in the United States and fewer than 200 are designated Baby-Friendly.