Oklahoma Children's Hospital Receives International Baby-Friendly Designation

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Oklahoma Children's Hospital Receives International Baby-Friendly Designation

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Children’s Hospital at OU Health recently received notification of its designation as a Baby-Friendly Hospital. The prestigious international designation was formally announced December 4, following completion of the rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing certification in the United States.

The Children’s Hospital joins more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 595 of which are in the U.S. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting each woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family. As a Baby-Friendly Hospital, The Children’s Hospital is dedicated to providing the most accurate and comprehensive information regarding feeding, nutrition and family bonding.

“This designation reflects the commitment of our facility and staff to ensure each woman who delivers here receives all the tools needed - resources, information and support - to give her baby the best start in life,” said Jon Hayes, president, The Children’s Hospital. “It is further affirmation of our relentless pursuit of quality and excellence across our organization. We strive to make every patient visit a positive experience, and we understand how that experience can influence successful breastfeeding.”

In achieving this honor, The Children’s Hospital demonstrates adherence to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund for optimal infant feeding support in the critically important first days of a newborn’s life.

“Our journey toward Baby-Friendly Designation has been several years in the making. It has required great effort from a committed team throughout a rigorous process to achieve this prestigious distinction,” said Tena Fry, DNP, RN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC, CNE, The Children’s Hospital Women’s and Newborn Center. “While we take great pride in this recognition, it’s important to note that Baby-Friendly Designation is not a destination, but a beginning point, which guides ongoing quality improvement measures to promote optimal nutrition for infant growth and healthy futures.”

The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by international health authorities. Chief among the benefits associated with breastfeeding is the boost to

an infant’s immune system that affords a level of protection against illnesses and disease in both mother and baby.

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 U.S.



At The Children’s Hospital, pediatric staff blends years of training with education, research and technology to improve the lives of children throughout the region. The obstetric emergency room at The Children’s Hospital is a regional referral center for the state, and the neonatal intensive care unit provides the highest level of newborn care in Oklahoma. Children’s is also home to the only 24/7 pediatric emergency room in Oklahoma City. With a family-centered approach to healing, Children’s offers resources from pet therapy to child life specialists who help families cope with hospitalization and illness. From advanced surgical services to general pediatrics, oncology care and more, The Children’s Hospital provides cutting-edge research and treatments through hospital-based and outpatient services. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com/childrens.


OU Health — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Health is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Health serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. OU Health is the No. 1 ranked hospital system in Oklahoma, and its oncology program at Stephenson Cancer Center and OU Medical Center ranked in the Top 50 in the nation, in the 2019-2020 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. OU Health was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in four specialties: Ophthalmology in partnership with Dean McGee Eye Institute, Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Health’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com.