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Florida Baby Steps to Baby Friendly - Illustration of woman holding a baby.

Continuing its efforts in 2017, the Florida Department of Health has partnered with 60 Florida hospitals from 31 counties to carry out the Baby Steps to Baby Friendly project as part of Florida Healthy Babies. The Baby Steps to Baby Friendly project is based on a World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) program that encourages and recognizes hospitals that offer optimal promotion and support for breastfeeding, including supportive hospital policies and practices, staff education, and post-discharge community referrals. There is a growing body of evidence that supports breastfeeding as critical to improved health outcomes of mothers and babies.

Baby Steps to Baby Friendly supports Florida birthing facilities working toward achieving The World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.  The department encourages birthing facilities to be recognized for these efforts through the Baby Friendly Hospital award and/or the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition’s Quest for Quality Maternity Care Award.

Florida now has 11 Baby Friendly Hospitals with the most recent one achieving designation earlier this year. The initiative began in 2015 with 24 hospitals receiving $10,000 mini-grants to support their work toward achieving the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.  In 2017, as part of the Florida Healthy Babies initiative, the project has expanded to 60 hospitals receiving $20,000 each.  These hospitals include:

County

Participating Hospitals           

Bay

Bay Medical Sacred Heart

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center

Brevard

Parish Medical Center

Broward

Holy Cross

Memorial West

Memorial Regional

Memorial Miramar

Broward Health Coral Springs

Broward Health General

Charlotte

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte

Clay

Orange Park Medical Center

St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay

Collier

NCH Health Care System

Columbia

Shands at Lake Shore Regional Medical Center

Duval

St. Vincents-Riverside

UF Health Jacksonville

Baptist-Downtown

Baptist-Beaches

Baptist-Southside

Escambia

West Florida Hospital

Hernando

Bayfront - Spring Hill

Highlands

Highlands Regional Hospital

Indian River

Indian River Medical Center

Jackson

Jackson Hospital

Lake

Florida Hospital Waterman

Leesburg Regional Medical Center

South Lake Hospital

Lee

Cape Coral Hospital

Gulf Coast Medical Center

Health Park Medical Center

Leon

Tallahassee Memorial

Martin

Martin Health System - North Facility

Miami-Dade

Jackson Main

Jackson South

Jackson North

Hialeah

Kendall Regional

Nassau

Baptist Medical Center Nassau

Okaloosa

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center

North Okaloosa Medical Center

Orange

Arnold Palmer Medical Center

Palm Beach*

Lakeside Medical

Palms West Hospital

Jupiter Medical

*Additional Hospital Pending

Pasco

Florida Hospital - Zephyrhills

Pinellas

Bayfront HMA Medical Center

St. Petersburg General Hospital

Polk

Winter Haven Women’s Hospital

Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center

Putnam

Putnam Community Medical Center

St. Johns

Flagler Hospital

Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

St. Lucie

St. Lucie Medical Center

Martin Health System at Tradition Medical Center

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center

Volusia

Halifax Health

Florida Health - Memorial Medical Center

Walton

Sacred Heart Hospital of the Emerald Coast

Healthiest Weight Florida also offers a variety of breastfeeding resources for mothers and families, employers, childcare facilities, and health care professionals.

Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not for profit organizations, businesses, and entire communities to help Florida's children and adults make choices about healthy eating and active living.