NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Hospital Redesignated as Baby-Friendly Hospital

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Hospital Redesignated as Baby-Friendly Hospital

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Hospital Redesignated as Baby-Friendly Hospital

January 26, 2024

nyc health hospitals metropolitan re designated as a baby friendly hospital featureNYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Hospital Redesignated as Baby-Friendly Hospital
The first baby born in the new year in the metropolitan area is pictured with his mother.

After a rigorous review process by the American Baby Friendly Association, the organization responsible for awarding this certification in the United States, New York City Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Hospital has once again earned the prestigious international “Baby Friendly” designation. The designation recognizes hospitals that encourage and promote breastfeeding and the mother-infant bond. Metropolitan Hospital first received the designation as America’s Baby-Friendly Hospital in 2017, and its renewed designation is valid until 2028.

“We are extremely proud and delighted that our team has once again received this distinction,” said Cristina Contreras, LMSW, MPA, FABC, CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. “The coveted Baby-Friendly Home designation reflects our commitment to mothers and babies and recognizes the hard work and care of our obstetricians, midwives, pediatricians, nurses and other staff who are dedicated to To make the birthing experience here extraordinary. We work hard every day to provide the best possible service to all new patients and their mothers.”

To earn this designation, hospitals must meet or exceed patient care standards in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative’s rigorous on-site evaluation, including:

  • A comprehensive education program that provides mothers with the information, confidence and skills they need to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding;
  • Skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby immediately after delivery
  • Provide intensive education to patients and hospital staff on the important benefits and management of breastfeeding
  • Keep the newborn with the mother 24 hours a day during postpartum care; and
  • Provide links to breastfeeding support groups in the area

Of the 981 babies born at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan in 2023, 96% began breastfeeding immediately after delivery.

“This designation is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and determination across our organization, all in an effort to help families get off to a strong start,” said Vani Dandolu, MD, Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology. “We are proud to provide an environment that supports best practices to promote exclusive breastfeeding and is committed to giving mothers who choose to breastfeed the best chance of success.”

Dianne Velez, RN, BSN, IBCLC, maternal-fetal unit nurse manager, was scheduled to retire in December 2022 after 39 years of dedicated service, but she delayed her retirement to ensure the hospital received its repositioning as a baby-friendly hospital. Diane said; “My nurse kept telling me, you can leave! The hospital will take care of it. But I said no! I’m proud to have helped ensure that we got this redesignation.”

The hospital’s Women’s Health Center has spacious private suites for labor, delivery and recovery, as well as 24-hour visitation. Patients can enjoy 24-hour midwifery services. The hospital offers wireless fetal monitoring so mothers can walk during labor and evidence-based pain management, including patient-controlled nitrous oxide. Families are invited to attend a range of prenatal and postnatal classes on topics including birth preparation and breastfeeding to help them welcome their baby into the world.

For more information about NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Women’s Health Center, visit Women’s Health – NYC Health + Hospitals ( or call 212-423-7769.


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About NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Hospital
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan is the community hospital of choice for residents of East Harlem, northern Manhattan and neighboring communities. The hospital provides culturally sensitive care in a warm and welcoming environment, emphasizing primary care medicine and utilizing the latest advances in medical science. It is part of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the United States.For more information, visit and follow us at

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the nation’s largest municipal health care system, serving more than 1 million New Yorkers annually at more than 70 patient care sites across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, community-based primary and specialty care centers coordinates care with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agencies and MetroPlus health plans, all supported by 11 primary hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is focused on helping New Yorkers, without exception, live their healthiest lives. For more information, visit and stay connected on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

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