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Lawrence + Memorial Hospital re-designated as a Baby-Friendly birth facility

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

baby friendly

Jess Maksim (fourth from left) with the participants of L+M’s breastfeeding support group for new mothers at L+M Hospital. Danielle Christiansen, RN, (far right) works on the Maternity unit and also serves as a lactation consultant.

New London, CT (Nov. 21, 2023) – Lawrence + Memorial Hospital (L+M) has been re-designated with the prestigious international Baby-Friendly recognition which certifies that the hospital protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding. L+M earned its first Baby-Friendly USA designation in 2013.

"Achieving Baby-Friendly designation is a testament to L+M’s commitment to ensuring the healthiest start for all babies born at the hospital," said Shannon Christian, MSN, RN, vice president, Nursing and Patient Care Services. “This designation recognizes hospitals and birth centers that provide new mothers with the information, confidence, encouragement and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding and that also promote mother-baby bonding for all new mothers and babies.” 

To achieve the Baby-Friendly USA designation hospitals must incorporate 10 steps to successful breastfeeding which include keeping mothers and babies together, feeding on cue, breastfeeding support groups, prenatal education about optimal infant feeding, teaching mothers how to initiate and maintain lactation and safe formula preparation for bottle feeding babies. 

“I am inspired by the L+M team who have embraced the Baby-Friendly initiative and worked diligently to help make this re-designation possible,” said Lauren Lary, RN, nurse manager, Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum unit at L+M. “To achieve this recognition, every member of the maternity staff completed Baby-Friendly education and perform infant care and exams in the mother's room.”

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the US authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative works to improve the care of pregnant women, mothers and infants. The goal of the initiative is to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Surgeon General, American Academy of Pediatrics and many other health care groups encourage hospitals to become Baby-Friendly.

“All patients are educated on the importance of breastfeeding and each mother can decide how best to feed her baby,” said Jessica Maksim, RN, L+M’s breastfeeding champion. “We are here to support every family and teach safe feeding practices.”

When breastfeeding is not an option, L+M offers supplementation, when medically necessary. This provides families with access to pasteurized donor breast milk for their newborns. The donor breast milk comes from Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast in Massachusetts, where all donating mothers are screened in advance with blood tests and all donor milk is pasteurized before distribution to hospitals. Over the past year, 150 families have benefited from the availability of donor breast milk to babies at L+M.


Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, a member of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit, 308-bed general and acute care hospital providing patient care to medical, surgical, pediatric, psychiatric and obstetrical patients in southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island since 1912. Lawrence + Memorial offers cardiac acute, step-down and rehabilitation programs and is the only eastern Connecticut hospital that performs emergency and elective angioplasty.