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Washington Hospital Earns Distinction as One of Few U.S. Hospitals Recognized for Exceptional Support of Breastfeeding Moms and Babies

FREMONT, Calif., –Washington Hospital has earned the distinction as a “Baby-Friendly Hospital” from the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The designation recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. Fewer than 175 hospitals in the U.S. are “Baby-Friendly.”

“I’m very proud of our dedicated staff at the birthing center for earning this designation,” said Nancy Farber, chief executive officer of Washington Hospital Healthcare System. “Being a ‘Baby-Friendly Hospital’ is an important honor and an acknowledgement of the first-rate care that our birthing center provides to the mothers who choose to give birth at our Hospital.”

According to Baby-Friendly USA, the accrediting body for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the U.S., the BFHI assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so. The initiative is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“We are very excited about becoming a Baby-Friendly Hospital. We’ve been working to achieve this designation for a long time,” said Christine Bedgood, R.N., one of Washington Hospital’s trained lactation consultants. “It affirms that we are providing the healthiest possible start for babies and, ultimately, this is good for the entire community.”

Studies also show that, as they grow up, breastfed babies tend to be less likely to suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes or obesity. Besides the emotional benefits of the close relationship formed between breastfeeding mothers and babies, moms who breastfeed have been shown to experience decreased risks of breast and ovarian cancer, anemia and osteoporosis.

“Breastfeeding is not just about babies, it’s about children,” added Bedgood. “The positive health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life have been shown to continue with fewer, less serious childhood illnesses.” For more information on birthing services at Washington Hospital visit

About Washington Township Health Care District

Washington Township Health Care District is governed by an elected board of directors. Unlike a municipal or county hospital, Washington Hospital’s operating expenses, research, community programs, and employee salaries are funded by revenues generated through providing patient and other health care services. Washington Hospital Healthcare System includes a 353-bed acute-care hospital; the Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute; The Gamma Knife® Center; Washington Radiation Oncology Center; Washington Outpatient Surgery Center; Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center; The Institute for Joint Restoration and Research; the Institute for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery; and Washington West, a complex which houses Washington Women’s Center, Outpatient Imaging Center, Sandy Amos R.N. Infusion Center, Washington Urgent Care and additional outpatient hospital services and administrative facilities.