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UCI Medical Center is redesignated a Baby-Friendly hospital

Prestigious designation achieved by adhering to highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and babies

July 10, 2024
illustration of breastfeeding baby with words that say proud to be baby-friendly designated uci medical center is a baby friendly facility

Orange, Calif. — UCI Medical Center has once again achieved the Baby-Friendly designation for adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

The prestigious international certification from Baby-Friendly USA is granted after a rigorous, on-site review process.

The organization’s standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.

“UCI Medical Center has long been a recognized leader in the care of women and newborns,” said Anne Marie Watkins, DNP, chief nursing executive and senior vice president at UCI Health.

“This designation is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that every person who delivers a baby at our hospital is given the resources, information and support needed to help baby get the best, healthiest start in life.”

UCI Medical Center has displayed the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding posters in the emergency department and in inpatient areas of the UCI Douglas Hospital. Mothers who give birth at Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing centers are more likely to initiate breastfeeding and more likely to sustain breastfeeding at six months and one year of age.

The positive health benefits from breastfeeding have been widely recognized by health experts around the world. The US Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”

UCI Medical Center is one of a more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 565 of which are in the United States. UCI Health ― Fountain Valley was designated as a Baby-Friendly facility in 2019.

These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

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About UCI Health

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system based in Orange County. UCI Health is comprised of its main campus, UCI Medical Center, a 459-bed, acute care hospital in in Orange, Calif., four hospitals and affiliated physicians of the UCI Health Community Network in Orange and Los Angeles counties and ambulatory care centers across the region. Listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 23 consecutive years, UCI Medical Center provides tertiary and quaternary care and is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centerhigh-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma centergold level 1 geriatric emergency department and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

About Baby-Friendly USA

As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at www.babyfriendlyusa.org.