THE BRONX - After shutting down its maternity ward and then reopening it in 2014, North Central Bronx Hospital is now the recipient of a special "baby-friendly" recognition.

The World Health Organization and UNICEF designated the hospital as "baby friendly" for its commitment to building a stronger bond between mothers and their children.

The hospital promotes immediate skin-to-skin contact between mother and child for the first hour after birth. Babies stay in the same room as their mom throughout their stay in the hospital. These practices promote breastfeeding, officials said.

North Central Bronx Hospital is the fourth hospital in New York City to receive the designation.