The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation. As of June 2017, there were 438 hospitals in the US & Puerto Rico who met the program criteria, which are based on Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
This directory identifies birth centers accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers. Standards are set by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC). Birthing centers practice midwifery (midwives) and take a wellness and holistic approach to pregnancy and maternity care
Compare hospitals on their rates of scheduling C-Sections before the recommended 39 weeks, without a medically-indicated reason. Medical experts recommend that babies need at least 39 completed weeks to develop fully, which includes having a fully developed brain and other organs. Remarkable improvement in 2013 and 2014, compared to 2010. Still, some hospitals do not follow this guideline. 2014 hospital survey by the Leapfrog Group, updated 2015
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C-Sections that are elective (by choice for convenience or other reasons) before the baby is in his/her 39th week increase risks, and may land the premature infant in the neonatal intensive care unit. Full term is considered 39-40 weeks (not 36), and according to some reports NICU stays can add $20,000 to the bill. Don't Rush the Baby, in Health & Health Networks magazine July 2013