Ten Steps to Breastfeeding by WHO





Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  • Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth.
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
  • Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  • Practice rooming-in – that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together – 24 hours a day.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Source: Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services, a joint WHO/UNICEF statement published by the World Health Organization.