Baby Friendly Hospital designation

mother after ceserean birthHSHS St. John’s Hospital was the first hospital in the Midwest and the state of Illinois to receive the Baby Friendly designation in May 1998. Baby Friendly USA awarded the certification after a rigorous on-site survey. This designation, sponsored globally by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) recognizes hospitals that offer the optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

This prestigious designation has been awarded to only 172 hospitals in the United States. St. John’s Baby Friendly designation has been renewed every five years, most recently in January 2014. Currently there are only a total of four Baby Friendly hospitals in the state of Illinois, including St. John’s. 

What makes a Baby-Friendly hospital special?

  • All staff are specially trained and dedicated to helping new mothers breastfeed.
  • All newborn babies who are well after birth are immediately put skin-to-skin with their moms as long as they are stable -- even moms who have C-sections.
  • Babies are able to nurse immediately after they are born as long as they are well.
  • Babies are encouraged to stay in their mom’s room so they can be close to their parents and nurse on demand.
  • Support is available before, during and after your hospital stay.
  • We support all new mothers in whichever method that they choose to feed their baby.