The ten steps to successful breastfeeding

The ten steps to successful breastfeeding according to Unicef and WHO

  1. Hospital policies
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Not promoting infant formula, bottles or teats
    • Making breastfeeding care standard practice

  2. Staff competency
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Training staff on supporting mothers to breastfeed
    • Assessing health workers' knowledge and skills

  3. Antenatal care
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Discussing the importance of breastfeeding for babies and mothers
    • Preparing women in how to feed their baby

  4. Care right after birth
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Encouraging skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby soon after birth
    • Helping mothers to put their baby to the breast right away

  5. Support mothers with breastfeeding
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Checking postitioning, attachment and suckling
    • Giving practical breastfeeding support
    • Helping mothers with common breastfeeding problems

  6. Supplementing
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Giving only breastfeeding unless there are medical reasons
    • Prioritizing donor human milk when a supplement is needed
    • Helping mothers who want to formula feed to do so safely

  7. Rooming-in
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Letting mothers and babies stay together day and night
    • Making sure that mothers of sick babies can stay near their baby

  8. Responsive feeding
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Helping mothers know when their baby is hungry
    • Not limiting breastfeeding times

  9. Bottles, teats and pacifiers
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Counsel mothers on the use and risk of feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers

  10. Discharge
    Hospitals support mothers to breastfeed by...
    • Referring mothers to community resources for breastfeeding support
    • Working with communities to improve breastfeeding support services