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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

  1. Hospital policies
  2. Ensure that staff have sufficient knowledge, competence and skills to support breastfeeding.

Key clinical practices

  1. Discuss the importance and management of breastfeeding with pregnant women and their families.
  2. Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth.
  3. Support mothers to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and manage common difficulties.
  4. Do not provide breastfed newborns any food or fluids other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  5. Enable mothers and their infants to remain together and to practise rooming-in 24 hours a day.
  6. Support mothers to recognize and respond to their infants’ cues for feeding.
  7. Counsel mothers on the use and risks of feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers.
  8. Coordinate discharge so that parents and their infants have timely access to ongoing support and care.

To access the detailed documents, click here.

Ten steps to successful breastfeeding

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

3.11475409836
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