These are the basic tenets of BFUSA’s philosophy and approach:
1. Human milk fed through direct breastfeeding is the optimal way for human infants to be nurtured and nourished.
While breastfeeding may not be the right choice or option for some families in some situations, there is no question that breastfeeding is generally the optimal feeding and caring method for the health of the baby and the mother. An abundance of scientific evidence concludes that mothers and babies who breastfeed experience improved health outcomes and lower risks for certain diseases. Breastfeeding is the natural biological conclusion to pregnancy and an important mechanism in the natural development of the infant.
2. The precious first days in the birth facility should be protected as a time of bonding and support not influenced by commercial interests.
Hospitals and birthing centers wield enormous influence over the first days of life and play a critical role in determining breastfeeding success. Before the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative began to take hold across the US, commercial interests significantly influenced infant feeding practices in ways that undermined breastfeeding. Baby-Friendly facilities are centers of support in which evidenced-based care is provided, education is free from commercial interests, all infant feeding options are possible, and individual preferences are respected.
3. Every mother should be informed about the benefits of breastfeeding and respected to make her own choice.
We aim to ensure that every mother is fully informed of the benefits of breastfeeding and to help mothers who choose to breastfeed achieve their goals. Some mothers choose not to breastfeed; others who want to breastfeed are not able to do so; and there are times when supplementation is medically appropriate. Every mother has the right to decide how she feeds her child and should be equally supported and treated with dignity and respect for her infant feeding choices.