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Baby Friendly Hospital

University Hospitals Is Committed to Helping Mothers Succeed with Breastfeeding for their Newborns

Breastfeeding has proven to provide significant benefits to both infants and their mothers. International and national steps have been taken to increase the rates of exclusive breastfeeding and spread the awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.

In 1989, the World Health Organization identified and codified a set of practices – the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative was established to recognize hospitals that have undertaken the Ten Steps. Baby Friendly USA provides designation to hospitals that demonstrate an environment that promotes and supports breastfeeding through the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital and University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center are committed to creating the best possible environment for successful breastfeeding as a Baby Friendly-designated health care facilities.

10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding were developed by a team of global experts and consist of evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration. Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing facilities must adhere to the Ten Steps to receive, and retain, a Baby-Friendly designation.

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center

Learn More

To learn more about the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, please visit babyfriendlyusa.org.