Rockford Memorial Hospital completed a nearly three-year journey to earn the prestigious Baby Friendly Designation this May. The hospital is one of only six in Illinois to receive this honor and one of 267 birthing centers nationwide. The designation certifies the hospital has implemented ten steps to help mothers of newborns successfully breastfeed. These steps include providing education to staff and providers, educating pregnant mothers of the benefits of breastfeeding, starting early skin-to-skin and breastfeeding within one hour of birth, teaching feeding cues and educating on how to initiate and maintain breastfeeding, even if separated. The process changed the way new moms and babies are cared for and allows for providing an optimum level of care and support for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.