Slate: Baby-Friendly Hospitals May Not Be So Baby-Friendly After All

Over the past decade, a growing number of hospitals have become certified as “baby friendly” as part of a global initiative to encourage breastfeeding. In order to receive this designation, labor and delivery units must agree to 10 rules, which include rooming-in (keeping babies in their mother’s rooms instead of in nurseries), banning pacifiers, and avoiding formula unless medically necessary. It’s a somewhat austere line-up of regulations, and some critics say that baby-friendly hospitals’ strict rules are “mother-unfriendly.” Now a new report calls into question whether baby-friendly hospitals are better for babies than hospitals without the certification.