Baby-friendly hospital

UZ Leuven has been internationally certified as a Baby-friendly Hospital since 2008. This means that we meet the criteria to give every baby, from birth, the best possible chances for optimal health.


  • We follow the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
  • There are ‘Mother-friendly initiatives’ that focus on the care of pregnant women.
  • We observe the 'International Code of the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes'.

During labour

While you are in labour, a person you trust is welcome to support you. Eating and drinking are allowed. You will receive information and guidance on natural methods of pain management, adapted positions and the process of labour and delivery.

In addition to epidural anaesthesia, there are other more natural ways to relieve pain:

  • Water and heat, a bath or shower
  • Massage
  • Change your position regularly, walk around and sit on the exercise ball


Breastfeeding provides the best start for the baby and the mother.

Skin-to-skin contact with the parents is as fundamental a need for your baby as eating and drinking. This contact is a wonderful way to promote parent-child bonding, and it calms the baby’s heart rate and breathing. It also ensures a better start to the breastfeeding.

What’s more, the baby remains comfortably warm.

Rooming in

Mother and child will remain in the same room, day and night. The partner is also welcome to join. This an opportunity to get to know each other. But it is also a great time to learn how to take care of your baby and to feed them when they give cues that they are hungry.

Practical help at home

Adding a new member always throws a family out of balance. Babies require a lot of work and energy. Enjoy being a parent and be sure to accept practical help at home.

  • An independent midwife  will provide both follow-up care for you and guidance. Your health insurance policy covers up to 7 home visits (more on prescription). You are responsible for the travel expenses.
  • An employee from the Child and Family Agency (Kind en Gezin) will pay you an initial visit on the maternity ward.
  • Your GP

This also means:

  • no sponsorships, advertising or free samples from food companies
  • no distribution of gift boxes (e.g. the 'pink box') in the hospital

Want to know more?

Last edit: 10 January 2023