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HSHS St. John's is a designated Baby Friendly facility

Infant baby in mom's arms

Breastfeeding provides your baby with the perfect nutrition and promotes the best opportunity for lifelong healthy growth and development. HSHS St. John's is here to offer support and education to moms and babies throughout the breastfeeding journey. We offer a Certified Lactation Consultants to assist you and your baby.

HSHS St. John's Hospital has received the prestigious international recognition as a Designated Baby-Friendly birth facility from Baby-Friendly USA. 

Baby-Friendly USA, 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). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. 

Breastfeeding mom with breast pump supplies

Breastfeeding support

Our lactation specialists offer a full range of services, including a prenatal breastfeeding class, education materials, the breastfeeding 24-hour warmline support service and the First Steps Mother’s Support Group after the baby has arrived. 

The Frist Steps Mother's Support Group meets in the Women and Children’s Clinic located at 400 North Ninth Street, directly across from HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital in the first floor conference room, classroom 2 (1030B) every Wednesday from 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. There is no charge for this service and no registration required. 

Individual counseling is available during your pregnancy, as well as throughout your hospital stay. If you have questions or concerns after your discharge, please call the 24-hour warmline 217-535-3983 or make an appointment to come in for an outpatient visit.

Our specialists can provide information on the types of breast pumps, rental locations and where they can be purchased. They can also offer strategies on how best to combine breastfeeding, returning to work and pumping. Information is also available about state and federal laws for nursing mothers in the workplace.

Baby Friendly symbol

Breastfeeding success

HSHS St. John’s Hospital was the first hospital in the Midwest and the state of Illinois to receive the Baby Friendly designation in May 1998. Baby Friendly USA awarded the certification after a rigorous on-site survey.

What makes a Baby-Friendly hospital special?

This designation, sponsored globally by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) recognizes hospitals that offer the optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Special Opportunities

  • All staff are specially trained and dedicated to helping new mothers breastfeed.
  • All newborn babies who are well after birth are immediately put skin-to-skin with their moms as long as they are stable -- even moms who have C-sections.
  • Babies are able to nurse immediately after they are born as long as they are well.
  • Babies are encouraged to stay in their mom’s room so they can be close to their parents and can nurse on demand.
  • Support is available before, during and after your hospital stay.
  • We support all new mothers in whichever method they choose to feed their baby.