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Hospital actions affect breastfeeding
  • Published Date:
  • Series:
    CDC Vital signs ; 2015 October
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.32 MB]

  • Description:
    Hospital practices in the first hours and days after birth make the difference in whether and how long babies are breastfed. The WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is the global standard for hospital care to support breastfeeding, with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding at its core. The percentage of US hospitals implementing a majority of the Ten Steps increased from about 29% in 2007 to nearly 54% in 2013. However, of approximately 3,300 maternity hospitals in the US, only 289 are designated Baby-Friendly. Hospitals influence how the nearly 4 million US babies born each year are fed. Further improvement in hospital practices could increase breastfeeding rates and contribute to better child health.

    Hospitals can:

    • Implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and work towards achieving Baby-Friendly designation.

    • Use CDC’s Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey customized reports to improve maternity care practices that support breastfeeding.

    • Work with doctors, nurses, lactation care providers, and organizations to create networks that provide clinic-based, at-home, or community breastfeeding support for mothers.



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