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Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding


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

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding form the basis of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a worldwide breastfeeding quality improvement project created by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Childrens’ Emergency Fund.

Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers also uphold the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes by offering education and educational materials that promote human milk rather than other infant food or drinks, and by refusing to accept or distribute free or subsidized supplies of breastmilk substitutes, nipples, and other feeding devices.


Breastfeeding Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Both experienced moms and new moms often have questions about breastfeeding. Here are some commonly asked questions about breastfeeding, with expert answers from our WellStar Breastfeeding Centers.


Choosing breastfeeding over bottle-feeding is a personal decision. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Medical Association (AMA) and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics believe that breast milk is uniquely superior for infant feeding. It is the best source of nutrition, with the ideal combination of nutrients for your baby’s immune system.