Breastfeeding from the Start

Breastfeeding from the Start

Fact Sheets on Breastfeeding-Friendly Hospital Practices in 18 States

Breastfeeding has health benefits for both mother and child, including decreased risk of infant and maternal morbidity, in addition to economic and developmental benefits. The health benefits of breastfeeding make it a leverage point for improving health equity, and the Healthy People 2020 goals provide benchmarks for rates of breastfeeding at 6 months and 12 months after the birth of a child.

For new mothers who want to breastfeed their babies, the hospital where they give birth is an important source of information and support. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (Ten Steps), an evidence-based standard for maternal care practices in hospitals, were formulated by Baby-Friendly USA, which is implementing the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BHFI) of UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

With the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ChangeLab Solutions has developed fact sheets on breastfeeding-friendly hospital practices in the 18 states with relevant laws (available here for download). The fact sheets detail the Ten Steps, provide information on state performance against the Healthy People 2020 goals for breastfeeding rates, and document to what extent state laws are implementing the Ten Steps. Public health professionals and policymakers can use these state profiles to understand the patterns, trends, and gaps in their state’s regulations and to identify opportunities for reform.

Scroll down to download the fact sheet for your state, and contact our team to learn how to promote breastfeeding-friendly policies and practices in your state. For more information about state laws on breastfeeding-friendly practices in hospitals, see the recording and slide deck from our webinar on this topic and our database at LawAtlas.