The Ten 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:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care staff in the 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 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 pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.
The Ten Steps are endorsed and promoted by the major maternal and child health authorities in the United States, including:
- American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Nurses
- American Academy of Pediatrics
American College of Nurse-Midwives
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National WIC Association
- U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
- U.S. Surgeon General