Northwestern Medicine

Kishwaukee Hospital Receives Prestigious International Award Designated as Baby-Friendly

Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital August 31, 2016


DEKALB, IL – Kishwaukee Hospital, part of Northwestern Medicine, has received the prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility by Baby-Friendly U.S.A., Inc.. The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.


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.

Baby-Friendly U.S.A., 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).

“I am very excited for Kishwaukee Hospital to receive this designation as a Baby-Friendly hospital. Our staff has put a lot of time and effort into meeting the designation criteria. It is a privilege to be involved with a hospital that is committed to quality, evidence-based maternity care that places an emphasis on empowering families with increased education and support,” said Lactation Consultant Jennifer Kleckner, RN, from the KishHealth System Breastfeeding Center at Kishwaukee Hospital.

The KishHealth System Breastfeeding Center provides free lactation consultation and support over the phone or in the office located on the first floor of Kishwaukee Hospital’s Medical Office Building in DeKalb. The goal of the center is to help address concerns and overcome obstacles throughout the baby’s first year. The center serves all new moms in Northern Illinois, no matter where baby is delivered.

“This is a great accomplishment for Kishwaukee Hospital as an organization and an even greater achievement for the healthcare providers and staff who are committed to providing evidence-based education and support for new mothers,” said Judy Bergsmith, RN, lactation coordinator, KishHealth System

Kishwaukee Hospital is one of only twelve hospitals in Illinois with this designation. Currently there are 367 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. 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 to Successful Breastfeeding as demonstrated by quality processes. KishHealth System has been working towards this designation for almost four years. Valley West Hospital in Sandwich is in the review process to receive the Baby-Friendly designation as well.

Learn more about the KishHealth System Maternity Suites department, the Breastfeeding Center, and the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative at Kishwaukee Hospital, part of Northwestern Medicine.

Further information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative may be obtained by contacting Baby-Friendly USA, Inc, at 518.621.7982,