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2010: In Romania, one in three to be born in a Baby-Friendly Maternity Hospital

BUCHAREST, 17 December 2009 – UNICEF Romania and the World Health Organization announced 23 maternity facilities have been awarded the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation. 

In Romania, 35 out of 204 birth facilities are now actively involved in the Initiative meaning one-third of all babies born in Romania in 2010 will kick off their lives with a better chance for a healthy life.

“By supporting mothers to breastfeed, children born in these maternity wards will get the best start in life. Breastfed babies tend to be healthier, score higher in IQ tests and benefit from better mother-to-child bonding. Mothers will be happier, and the health care system will spend less on the provision of care,“ said Edmond McLoughney, UNICEF Representative in Romania.

“This project aims to contribute to the optimal child development of all Romanian children.

The UNICEF goal is to make sure that, in the long run, all Romanian maternities can embrace Baby-Friendly practices and for this to happen we will continue to assist the Ministry of Health in supporting and carrying on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.”

Studies show the importance of educating mothers about the positive effect of breastfeeding, which also decreases risks of acute infection or chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes and obesity

Launched in 1991 by UNICEF and WHO, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is an effort to promote breastfeeding. To qualify as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, a centre must fulfil Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Twenty-three of the 35 hospitals were awarded the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation, three received the Certificate of Commitment (which met at least 7 of the 10 criteria), two are undergoing an assessment and 7 received the Certificate of Intent.

Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative maternities have received technical and financial assistance from UNICEF Romania through the donations of private companies and individual contributions during a May 2008 Telethon run in partnership with Romanian Television.

For more information about the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, please visit:

UNICEF operates in Romania and in other 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.
In Romania, UNICEF supports children’s rights through programmes aiming at health and nutrition, quality basic education, and the protection of children from violence, neglect and HIV/AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:
UNICEF Romania, Codruţa Hedeşiu, Communication Officer,
Tel + 40,
E-mail: chedesiu@unicef.org




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