How Hospitals Can Support Breastfeeding

April 9, 2013

The first moments after birth are some of the best times to bond with your baby and begin breastfeeding. It’s also a great opportunity to get help from lactation professionals and hospital-grade breastfeeding products. In fact, many hospitals have recognized how important their role is in breastfeeding success and have chosen to pursue “Baby-Friendly Hospital” status. Medela proudly supports the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and its role in long-term breastfeeding success.

In order for a hospital to become “baby-friendly,” they must complete the following 10 steps:

  1. Develop a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely shared with the healthcare staff.
  2. Specifically train the hospital staff to practice and implement the breastfeeding policy.
  3. Share the benefits of breastfeeding with all pregnant women in the hospital.
  4. Support moms in breastfeeding within the first 30 minutes after birth.
  5. Teach moms how to breastfeed and maintain supply, even if they are separated from their babies.
  6. Feed nothing but breast milk to babies, unless medically indicated.
  7. Allow mothers to stay with their babies 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage moms to breastfeed on demand.
  9. Do not provide pacifiers or bottle nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Work to develop support groups and refer mothers to them upon discharge.

Curious about baby friendly hospitals near you? You can find a full list of Medela baby-friendly hospitals by state on our website.

How did your hospital support your breastfeeding goals? Share in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “How Hospitals Can Support Breastfeeding

  1. At my hospital stay when I had my baby they didnt give me all the info. I needed on breastfeeding I would love to go to the hospitals and help the mothers giving them info and my successful experience but I dont know how I could do that since im not a certified lactation consultant:(

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