Ten steps to successful breastfeeding
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Breastfeeding all babies for the first 2 years would save the lives of more than 820 000 children under age 5 annually.
World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) launched the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) to help motivate facilities providing maternity and newborn services worldwide to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The Ten Steps to successful breastfeeding summarize a package of policies and procedures that facilities providing maternity and newborn services should implement to support breastfeeding.
Critical management procedures
- Hospital policies
- Comply fully with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly resolutions.
- Have a written infant feeding policy that is routinely communicated to staff and parents.
- Establish ongoing monitoring and data-management systems.
Key clinical practices
- Discuss the importance and management of breastfeeding with pregnant women and their families.
- Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth.
- Support mothers to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and manage common difficulties.
- Do not provide breastfed newborns any food or fluids other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- Enable mothers and their infants to remain together and to practise rooming-in 24 hours a day.
- Support mothers to recognize and respond to their infants’ cues for feeding.
- Counsel mothers on the use and risks of feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers.
- Coordinate discharge so that parents and their infants have timely access to ongoing support and care.
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Outcome of implementing the ten steps
There is substantial evidence that implementing the Ten Steps significantly improves breastfeeding rates. A systematic review of 58 studies on maternity and newborn care published in 2016 demonstrated clearly that adherence to the Ten Steps impacts early initiation of breastfeeding immediately after birth, exclusive breastfeeding and total duration of breastfeeding.
Source : WHO