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May 6, 2016
BROOKLYN, NY, May 6, 2016: Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams joined maternal health care providers, breastfeeding advocates, and mothers with their newborns at The Brooklyn Hospital Center to announce a partnership with Brooklyn hospitals for his baby cards initiative, which will offer a note of greetings to new mothers, information on breastfeeding, and other resources for parents. The cards, which expand on his Family Friendly Brooklyn Initiative, also invite parents to visit the lactation lounge at Brooklyn Borough Hall, a comfortable, private room open to the public for breastfeeding and pumping milk. Borough President Adams spoke about the substantial benefits of breastfeeding as well as honoring the many contributions of our mothers on Mother’s Day.
“A baby does not arrive in the delivery room with an instruction manual,” said Borough President Adams. “When the baby comes, parents must learn from their relatives and friends, and sometimes improvise. We need to send the message that a mother’s breast milk provides the best nutrition to support the healthy development of the child. Part of that involves talking to new parents and sharing the information. We also have to create resources, such as a lactation room in every government building, which I have proposed, that will allow mothers to nourish their newborn and infant children, pump milk when they are not with their babies, and build that emotional connection that breastfeeding creates. And we must allow mothers to feel comfortable breastfeeding in public.”
Borough President Adams also called on the City Council to enact a bill he introduced with Council Members Robert Cornegy, Laurie Cumbo, and Corey Johnson that would require every municipal government building in New York City to have a lactation room available to the public during business hours, in order to allow more women to breastfeed. A study by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in 2011 found that for every 100 New York City women, only 14 breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. The number was even lower for low-income women — only five percent exclusively breastfed for first six months.
The hospitals involved in the initiative are Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, New York Methodist Hospital, NYC Health+Hospitals/Coney Island, NYC Health+Hospitals/Kings County, NYC Health+Hospitals/Woodhull, NYU Lutheran Medical Center, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.
“Brookdale Hospital has been a proud supporter of the Brooklyn borough president’s initiative,” said Khari Edwards, vice president for external affairs at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. “To date, Brookdale has increased our healthy delivery breastfeeding numbers from 70 percent to 90 percent, which is a noteworthy accomplishment. In addition, we have also created a breastfeeding café, where nursing mothers can sit in a group with other mothers building strong social and health bonds. Brookdale is the leader of healthcare in East Brooklyn and we believe in the borough president’s commitment.”
“We’re proud to be part of the Brooklyn borough president’s important initiative supporting breastfeeding, healthy mothers, and healthy children,” said Dr. Scarlett Karakash, director of obstetrics at Maimonides Medical Center.
“New York Methodist Hospital is honored to partner with Borough President Adams in the realization of his Family Friendly Brooklyn initiative,” said Lyn Hill, vice president for communication and external affairs at New York Methodist Hospital. “NYM has long been a champion of the benefits of breastfeeding, and offers our new mothers breastfeeding classes and one-on-one training with our certified lactation consultants before the families leave the hospital. We provide ongoing breastfeeding support through our breastfeeding support group, open to new mothers and their babies throughout Brooklyn. We are delighted to support Borough President Adams and his family-friendly vision for Brooklyn.”
“New York City Health + Hospitals/Coney Island is committed to providing mothers with the information and resources required to ensure their success with breastfeeding,” said Dr. Toni Stern, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York City Health + Hospitals/Coney Island. “Research has shown that breastfeeding provides infants with optimal nutrition and antibodies required for each baby to grow and thrive. The health benefits of breastfeeding extend beyond the mother and the newborn because healthier mothers and babies equal healthier communities. Our hospital is dedicated to following baby-friendly practices. We support the breastfeeding initiatives of Borough President Adams within our communities, and admire his dedication to our patients.”
“Mother’s Day is the perfect time to highlight mothers and babies,” said Dr. Wendy Wilcox, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. “Breastfeeding has amazing health benefits for both mother and baby, and breastmilk is nature’s perfect nutrition for babies. We have initiated programs to help our mothers to breastfeed. We are proud to partner with Borough President Adams to distribute the Brooklyn Baby Greeting Cards to further encourage our mothers to breastfeed and to give them and their families vital information about breastfeeding support in Brooklyn.”
“Borough President Adams has always been a supporter of the City’s public health system and Woodhull,” said Dr. Luis Rodriguez, chief of pediatrics at NYC Health+Hospitals/Woodhull. “Today’s partnership — with our mothers, mothers-to-be, and their babies — is one of many we look forward to participating in to ensure our patients lead their healthiest lives.”
“We are very pleased to join Borough President Adams in his Brooklyn Baby Greeting Card campaign that celebrates our two favorite things: Brooklyn and families,” said Claudia C. Caine, president of NYU Lutheran Medical Center. “NYU Lutheran started our community’s first programs in family medicine and community health so this campaign is right in line with our mission and vision for Brooklyn. How sweet it is!”
“The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed infants for the child’s first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health,” said Dr. Ralph L. Ruggiero, chair of the Department of obstetrics and gynecology at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. “Thereafter, they should be given nutritious, complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond. We are very excited to partner with the Brooklyn Borough President’s Family Friendly Initiative. We share his views on the importance of breastfeeding advocacy and support for parents and caregivers in Brooklyn.”
Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
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