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Ten steps to successful Breastfeeding

(...and what it means to you!)

In 1989, a joint statement entitled Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: the special role of maternity services, was published by the World Health Assembly and the United Nations Children Fund. The aim of this statement was to increase awareness of the critical role of health services in the promoting of breastfeeding, and to give guidelines for appropriate information and support to mothers.  In this statement, the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding were introduced.  The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched world wide in 1992 in an effort to encourage the implementation of these Ten Steps.Hospitals are accredited the status of " Baby Friendly" by implimenting the 10 steps.

1.  Have a written breastfeeding policy routinely communicated to all staff
In your hospital of choice, all staff should be trained in breast feeding techniques, promotion and support and have a universal policy to refer to.

2.  Train all staff necessary to implement this policy
All staff should be saying the same thing therefore reducing conflicting advice.

3.  Inform all pregnant women about the benefits of breastfeeding
Your health care should discuss the benefits of breastfeeding and your feeding options before you deliver. If you attend ante-natal classes, the necessary and correct information must be provided,

4.  Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half hour of birth
Your nurse or midwife should help you to feed as soon as possible and promote skin to skin contact.

5.  Show mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation even if they are separated from their baby
If your baby needs to be admitted to the neonatal unit you will be supported to continue breastfeeding and assisted with maintaining your milk supply.

6.  Give new-born infants no food or drink unless medically indicated
A breastfed baby should not have anything else but breast milk unless a doctor prescribes otherwise.

7.  Practice rooming in: allow babies to be with mothers 24 hours per day
Your hospital of choice should encourage you to have your baby with you 24/7 so that you can get to know your babies' feeding cues.

8.  Encourage breastfeeding on demand
This means feeds aren't timed or on a set routine as this can interfere with establishment of your milk supply.

9.  Give no artificial pacifiers or teats
To ensure good milk supply and for mothers to get to know baby's feeding cues.

10. Foster establishment of Breastfeeding support groups and ensure woman are aware of them on discharge
New mothers should know where to get help when they return home before they leave hospital.

(World Health Organization - Baby Friendly Initiative)

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