Samsung Medical Center said that it is now accredited by the UNICEF Korea and Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative as a baby-friendly hospital.
The initiative launched jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF aims at encouraging breast feeding for babies, which has diverse benefits such as the prevention of infection and providing emotional stability for newborns and lowering the risk of breast cancer for mothers.
It examines whether the hospitals are abiding by this criteria, including helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of giving birth, feeding newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated, giving no artificial nipples or pacifiers to breast feeding infants, and allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
The hospital has been accredited as a baby-friendly hospital for 16 years because it passed reevaluations after it was accredited for the first time in 1997. There are around 20,000 hospitals around the world with accreditation, including 40 in Korea.
"Many hospitals aren't allowing moms to stay with their newborns or supporting breastfeeding due to various limitations. However, moms definitely need support for successful breastfeeding," said Chang Yun-sil, a pediatrics professor at the hospital.
"Our hospital will continue to make efforts to protect and promote the health of mothers and babies," she said.