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8110 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

We Are Baby Friendly!

Inova Alexandria Hospital is proud to be internationally recognized as a Baby-Friendly birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It celebrates hospitals such as Inova Alexandria Hospital that have created policies and practices that help parents choose how they feed and care for their babies and, specifically, create the best possible environment for successful breastfeeding.

We Support Breastfeeding

Inova Alexandria Hospital practices the following guidelines in an effort to create the most successful environment for breastfeeding.

Skin to Skin

All newborns will be dried with a blanket at birth and immediately placed skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest until the first breastfeeding or for the first hour.

This practice helps keep the baby warm and makes beginning breastfeeding easier. Newborns naturally move toward their mother’s breast.

Rooming In

In the beginning, babies need to eat frequently because they have small stomachs. Inova Alexandria Hospital will encourage new moms to keep their babies with them at night so that they can breastfeed “on demand” or whenever baby wants to eat.

More Support

Your nurses are a great resource for getting started with breastfeeding. As a Baby-Friendly Hospital, we provide extra training to our team so that they can educate and support you throughout your stay. We offer a breastfeeding class for patients every day right on the unit. Lactation consultants are also available when extra help is needed.

Breastfeeding Is Important!

Breast milk provides all the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs.

Breastfed babies have less:

  • Respiratory and ear infections
  • Diarrhea & constipation
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Risk of SIDS
  • Doctor visits

Mothers who breastfeed have less:

  • Post-partum hemorrhage
  • Post-partum depression
  • Cancers, such as breast and endometrial
  • Lost work-time


If you have questions about any of these newborn practices, please talk with your nurse.

Additional information about breastfeeding is available from The Joint Commission, healthcare's largest accrediting organization.
Learn more