Baby-Friendly Hospitals: Laws Across the 50 States

Baby-Friendly Hospitals: Laws Across the 50 States

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global initiative of UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at promoting hospital policies that encourage and support breastfeeding. Baby-Friendly USA, the organization tasked with implementing BFHI in the United States, has outlined 10 evidence-based practices that hospitals can implement to support breastfeeding (the “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”). These include breastfeeding policies, staff training, rooming-in, and educating mothers about the benefits and management of breastfeeding. Several states have enacted statutes or regulations encouraging or requiring hospitals to adopt one or more of these practices.

This ChangeLab Solutions webinar, Baby-Friendly Hospitals: Laws Across the 50 States, presents the results of our systematic review of baby-friendly hospital laws in the United States. This webinar includes an overview of baby-friendly hospital requirements and the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a brief description of the legal research methods used, and a discussion of what we found. Participants learned about data that can help advance policy by clearly showing how state laws differ and where gaps exist. They also learned how to access the findings and quantitative legal data to evaluate these laws’ effects on health-promoting behaviors.

For additional information, see our fact sheets on breastfeeding-friendly hospital practices in the 18 states with relevant laws.


  • Sabrina Adler, JD, senior staff attorney & program director
  • Hannah Sheehy, MPH, policy analyst
  • Derek Carr, JD, staff attorney
  • Aysha Pamukcu, JD, senior staff attorney