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Methodist Dallas Medical Center First in Dallas to Receive Prestigious International Award

womensMethodist Dallas Medical Center announced today it is the first hospital in Dallas to receive the Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility from Baby-Friendly USA. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this designation recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. Methodist Dallas received the award February 10, 2015.

As part of being a baby-friendly hospital, Methodist Dallas took a step towards improving family bonding when they closed their nursery April 2013 so mom and baby could room together 24 hours a day. “Mothers say they sleep better and feel better prepared for discharge when they keep the baby in the room with them during their stay,” says Perinatal Education/Lactation Coordinator Dani Cagle, BA, IBCLC. “There are more opportunities for us to teach and moms to learn how to care for their babies when both stay in the same room.” To promote breastfeeding, Methodist Dallas no longer offers pacifiers. “Pacifiers are proven to interfere with successful breastfeeding,” says Cagle. “Not having pacifiers allows the staff to teach parents how to comfort their baby and read his feeding cues” Parents are welcome to bring their own pacifier if they choose.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc is the U.S. 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 initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 238 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

“We are proud to receive this top certification for family centered care,” says Director of Nursing, Women and Children's Services Pam Gessling, MBA, BSN, RNC-OB, NEA-BC. “The Baby Friendly designation means that Methodist Dallas has established a program that supports all families by promoting bonding and time together, informed infant feeding decisions and education and support even after the family is discharged.” Cagle adds, “This award is the result of hard work and dedication by nursing staff, pediatric and obstetrical providers, and Methodist Dallas leadership to provide exceptional, compassionate care and to truly put the patient first.” Methodist Dallas is also the first designated hospital in Texas with an OB/GYN residency program.

To obtain further information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, visit

Learn more about Women and Children's services at Methodist Dallas.

About Methodist Health System

Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Dallas-based Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated health care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Eight hospitals and 27 Methodist Family Health Centers and Medical Groups are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the fastest-growing health systems in America, Methodist continues to add facilities and services to enhance patient care along the entire continuum. Additional information is available at Connect through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System.

Lynette Wilkinson
Public Relations Coordinator