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IHS Zuni Health Center Achieves Baby-Friendly Status

The Indian Health Service’s Zuni Comprehensive Community Health Center has become the first hospital in New Mexico to become Baby-Friendly certified. This means that nearly half of all IHS hospitals that currently perform deliveries have become “Baby-Friendly.”  Nationally, fewer than 6% of all U.S. hospitals are Baby-Friendly designated, and the only Baby-Friendly hospitals in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and South Dakota are all IHS hospitals.

The IHS Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! in Indian Country” campaign dedicated to solving childhood obesity within a generation. The IHS campaign aims to certify all IHS obstetric facilities as Baby-Friendly. This initiative promotes infant feeding to reduce the risk that children will develop obesity and diabetes in the future. Baby-Friendly hospitals offer new mothers the information, confidence, and skills they need to initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

Other IHS hospitals that have been Baby-Friendly designated are Claremore Indian Hospital (Oklahoma); Phoenix Indian Medical Center (Arizona); Quentin N. Burdick Memorial Health Care Facility (North Dakota); Pine Ridge Hospital (South Dakota) and Rosebud Indian Hospitals (South Dakota).