- Does your birth facility or hospital have a policy that states all babies born there should routinely be breastfed and not formula fed?
- Are all staff trained on this policy and will they be supportive of breastfeeding?
- Will you be informed of the benefits of breastfeeding and breastfeeding basics?
- Will you be allowed to breastfeed within the first hour after your baby is born?
- Will you be shown how to breastfeed and shown how to use a breast pump if you need one?
- Will your baby be given only breastmilk and nothing else unless medically necessary?
- Will your baby be allowed to stay in your room 24 hours a day?
- Will you be encouraged to breastfeed on demand rather than following a strict schedule?
- Does the facility restrict or monitor the use of pacifiers?
- Will you be given breastfeeding resources upon discharge?
These questions are part of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), an international program that recognizes hospitals and birth centers that have adopted specific policies and practices that enable parents to make informed choices about how they feed and care for their babies. Hospitals and birth centers that have implemented the Ten Steps create an optimal environment for the initiation of breastfeeding. For more information about BFHI, visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org.
To find out if your hospital is a part of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, click here.