Several years of hard work came to fruition as Saint Agnes Hospital, part of the Ascension Baltimore/Washington Ministry Market, received prestigious international recognition as a Designated Baby-Friendly birth facility. The recognition from Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., shows that Saint Agnes offers an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Saint Agnes is one of only eight hospitals in Maryland to receive the Baby-Friendly designation. Other Ascension Baby-Friendly hospitals are St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, Connecticut; Ascension Florida: Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola and St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside, Jacksonville; Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, Chicago; St. Alexius Medical Center, Hoffman States, Illinois; St. Vincent Evansville, Indiana; Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph, Wichita, Kansas; Ascension Michigan: Ascension Providence Hospital, Novi Campus and Southfield Campus, Ascension St. John Hospital, Detroit, and Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Warren Campus; Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee; and Ascension Wisconsin: Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital, Stevens Point; Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital – Elmbrook Campus, Brookfield, and Ascension St. Francis Hospital, Milwaukee.

Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

“Our staff is now uniquely prepared and qualified to assist new parents with early, uninterrupted bonding with their infants, and to support and educate them on their chosen feeding method,” said Carolyn Moloney, MD, PhD, Attending Neonatologist.

“Mothers and families tell us that they are especially happy to have their baby stay in the mother's room throughout the hospital stay,” said Vicki Lowe, MSN, RN, IBCLC, Clinical Coordinator of Lactation Services. “They can be present for their baby’s exams and know everything that happens with their baby.”

The Saint Agnes Maternal Child Health Center was previously selected for and received grant funding to participate in the EMPower Initiative to enhance maternity care practices toward achieving the Baby-Friendly USA designation.

Baby-Friendly USA is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.