Natividad Earns Renewal of Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation

  • March 1, 2024

“Natividad has long been recognized as a local leader in the care of women and newborns,” said Karen Fiala, interim director of Women & Children’s Services. “This designation is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that every woman who delivers a baby at our facility is given the resources, information and support needed to help her and her baby get the best, healthiest start in life.”

Breastfeeding is associated with several health benefits for both mom and baby. Breastfed infants have lower risks of asthma, ear infections, diabetes and childhood obesity. Breastfeeding helps a mother’s health and healing following childbirth. Mothers who breastfeed benefit from lower rates of breast and ovarian cancers, and Type 2 diabetes.

As part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, Natividad follows the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes, adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1981, which supports mothers in initiating and/or exclusively breastfeeding their infants.

Natividad Women & Children’s Services delivered more than 2300 babies last year and is affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Natividad offers a Lactation Clinic that provides breastfeeding support to expecting and new mothers, regardless of where the baby was born. The clinic offers appointments seven days a week and includes a team of four internationally board-certified lactation consultants who offer private, one-on-one sessions for breastfeeding support, including pumping and storing milk.

Babies born at Natividad on Leap Day, February 29, 2024.

“A Baby-Friendly designation is an important stamp of approval from Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., an independent, third-party organization. It affirms our staff’s commitment to new mothers and their babies and helps them get off to the best start together,” said Fiala. “Our knowledgeable team helps new parents learn about their baby and breastfeeding. We address any feeding problems immediately — which helps improve breastfeeding success.”

Natividad joins a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide, 593 of which are in the United States. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

For more information about Natividad Women & Children’s Services, please visit