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10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

As a Baby-Friendly designated hospital, Alton Memorial upholds follows the World Health Organization/UNICEF “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” to guide and support our patients. These are the ways we support mothers to breastfeed.

1. Hospital policies. Hospital policies help make sure that all mothers and babies receive the best care. Our hospital policies:

  • Don’t promote infant formula, bottles, or teats
  • Make breastfeeding care standard practice
  • Keep track of support for breastfeeding

2. Staff competency. Well-trained health workers provide the best support for breastfeeding, so we:

  • Train staff on supporting mothers to breastfeed
  • Assess health workers’ knowledge and skills

3. Antenatal care. Because most women are able to breastfeed with the right support, we

  • Discuss the importance of breastfeeding for babies and mothers
  • Prepare women in how to feed their baby

4. Care right after birth. Snuggling skin-to-skin helps breastfeeding get started, so we:

  • Encourage skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby soon after birth
  • Help mothers to put their baby to the breast right away

5. Support mothers with breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding is natural, but most mothers need help at first, we:

  • Check positioning, attachment, and suckling
  • Give practical breastfeeding support
  • Help mothers with common breastfeeding problems

6. Supplementing. Giving babies formula in the hospital makes it hard to get breastfeeding going, that’s why we:

  • Give only breast milk, unless there are medical reasons
  • Prioritize pasteurized donor human milk when a supplement is needed
  • Help mothers who want to formula feed do so safely
  • Let mothers who want to formula feed do so safely

7. Rooming-In. Mothers need to be near their babies to notice and respond to feeding cues, so we:

  • Let mothers and babies stay together day and night
  • Make sure that mothers of sick babies can stay near their baby

8. Responsive feeding. Because breastfeeding babies whenever they are ready helps everybody, we:

  • Help mothers know when their baby is hungry
  • Do not limit breastfeeding times

9. Bottles, artificial nipples and pacifiers. Everything that goes in baby’s mouth needs to be clean, that’s why we:

  • Counsel mothers about the use and risks of feeding bottles and pacifiers

10. Discharge. Learning to breastfeed takes time, so we:

  • Refer mothers to community resources for breastfeeding support
  • Work with communities to improve breastfeeding support services
Find a doctor or make an appointment: 618.463.7220 or 800.392.0936
General Information: 618.463.7311
Alton Memorial Hospital
One Memorial Drive
Alton, Illinois 62002

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