Maternity

Did You Know?


  • As of March 2017, 20% of U.S. babies are born in hospitals that are designated Baby-Friendly
  • Breastfeeding for 9 months reduces a baby’s odds of becoming overweight by more than 30%
  • Even mothers who want to breastfeed have a hard time without hospital support; about 1 mother in 3 stops early without it

World Health Organization & UNICEF

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding


Every facility providing maternity services & care for newborn infants should:

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  • Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.
  • Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  • Practice rooming-in: allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • Give no rubber nipples or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups, and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers also uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes by offering education and educational materials that promote human milk rather than other infant food and drinks, and by refusing to accept or distribute free or subsidized supplies of breastmilk substitutes, nipples, and other feeding devices. For more information, please visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org.

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