Breastfeeding-Supportive Hospital Practices

Breastfeeding-Supportive Hospital Practices


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 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (10 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 the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization.

With the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ChangeLab Solutions has developed fact sheets on breastfeeding-supportive hospital practices in the 18 states with relevant laws (available below for download). The fact sheets detail the 10 Steps, provide information on state performance against the Healthy People 2020 goals for breastfeeding rates, and document to what extent state laws require hospitals to comply with practices that support breastfeeding among maternity patients. 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. 

For more information on breastfeeding in the hospital setting, see our infographic and fact sheet on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), the recording and slide deck from our webinar on BFHI, and our database at LawAtlas. In addition, check out our resources on addressing racial inequities in breastfeeding.