RUMC Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation

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Staten Island's Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) has announced that it has been awarded the prestigious recognition as a "Baby-Friendly" childbirth facility.

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"RUMC is known throughout the region as a go-to facility for expectant mothers," stated President and CEO Daniel J. Messina, Ph.D., LNHA, FACHE

Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) in West Brighton announced this week that it has received the prestigious international recognition as a "Baby-Friendly" birth facility.

RUMC is the only Staten Island hospital to be so designated and is the sixth hospital in NYC/Metro area and the 12th hospital in New York State to receive the status.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative ("BFHI"), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.

This important classification is a nod to the exceptional care provided by RUMC to Staten Island mothers and babies, and to the confidence and skills given to them to successfully start and continue breastfeeding their babies.

"Richmond University Medical Center is already known throughout the region as a go-to facility for expectant mothers," stated the hospital's President and CEO Daniel J. Messina, Ph.D., LNHA, FACHE. "This international recognition demonstrates the exemplary care provided by our clinical staff."

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and child birth centers worldwide; 349 of which are active in the United States.

The designation is granted after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

"Delivering at a Baby-Friendly Hospital ensures that moms will be making an educated decision regarding feeding choice, and then be supported in that decision," said Kathleen DiMauro, MS, RN-BC, IBCLC, AVP Women & Children's Services and Nursing Education.

"Moms delivering at a Baby-Friendly Hospital feel more confident in caring for their babies and develop a stronger bond with their babies, whether they are breastfeeding or not," she said.

According to DiMauro, RUMC understands the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of the mother and child, and strives for the highest quality of life for new and growing families on Staten Island.

At RUMC, mothers are encouraged to engage in skin-to-skin care with their baby as well as rooming-in, where mothers and infants remain together 24 hours a day.

Sometimes, however, after delivery the new mom is not able to put the baby skin-to-skin. "At that time we ask the new dad if he would like to participate," added DiMauuro, "And they love it!"

"The baby is put on the dad's bare chest and, in addition to helping dad bond with baby, the baby's temperature remains regulated, the blood sugar remains normal and the baby is calm and cozy."

Additionally, rooming-in helps the new parents get to know their baby's cues. Where possible, nurses no longer take the babies to the nursery to do testing, weighing, measuring and bathing. Instead, they do it all in the parents' rooms.

DiMauro explained that at RUMC, one nurse cares for both mom and baby at the bedside. Rooming-in and this one-on-one attention have been shown to better prepare parents for discharge.

Perhaps most important, RUMC provides educational resources — from prenatal classes to support groups and one-on-one consultations after delivery — to help moms provide their babies with the very best start in life.

"Delivering at a Baby-Friendly Hospital instills confidence in parents, promotes bonding between parents and baby and supports research and evidence that offers better outcomes for babies," said DiMauro.

RUMC is one of the largest employers on Staten Island. Its main campus is located at 355 Bard Avenue, Staten Island, N.Y., 10310. To contact Richmond University Medical Center's maternity services, please visit or call 718-818-4294.

Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC), an affiliate of The Mount Sinai Hospital and Icahn School of Medicine, is a 470+ bed healthcare facility and teaching institution serving Staten Island residents. With over 2,500 employees, RUMC is a Level 1 Trauma Center, a designated Stroke Center and maintains a Wound Care/ Hyperbaric Center and a Sleep Disorder Center on-site. The medical center has earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for quality and patient safety.

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