STATEN ISLAND, NY - On Friday, Staten Island University Hospital will be one step closer to achieving the goal of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative thanks to a $6,500 donation. The initiative - a global effort by UNICEF and the World Health Organization - aims to make all hospitals centers of breastfeeding support.
The Labor and Delivery department will receive a check for $6,000 from the hospital's Service Auxiliary and another one for $500 from the Soroptimist International of Staten Island.
The money will go toward a weeklong onsite training program for registered nurses to become certified lactation counselors, explained Anna Pallotta, president of the Service Auxiliary.
"This money will ensure that every nurse that comes in contact with a breastfeeding mother will be able to help her," said Marianne DiStefano, patient care unit manager for SIUH's Labor and Delivery department.
Studies have shown that breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mother and baby. Breastfed babies are less likely to have many illnesses, including stomach, chest and ear infections, asthma, diabetes and obesity. Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer and osteoporosis in later life.
There are only 143 hospitals nationwide and four in New York State that are designated baby-friendly.
Staten Island University Hospital
360 Seaview Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305