The 10 Steps developed by UNICEF/ WHO.
Making maternity hospitals Baby friendly involves having a written policy for promoting and protecting breastfeeding that is displayed with illustrations in a simple language and training all health staff in neonatal and obstetric to guide mothers in breastfeeding.
Mother Friendly practices.
These encourage mothers in labor to have a companion at birth, use of natural pain relief, avoid sedation, and encourage mothers to walk, take light drinks and in order to facilitate the first hour skin-to-skin contact and early breastfeeding.
Mother Friendly Workplaces.
These encourage and support their employed mothers to continue breastfeeding by providing them with a suitable space to express and store their milk while at work inform them of their maternity rights and allow them to breastfeed while at work, allowed flexible hours whilst ensuring their rights to career development opportunities to be promoted as scheduled, with no discrimination. Employers should realize the long term payoffs from such investments including less absenteeism workplace reputation and retaining of trained staff.
The hazards of not breastfeeding.
The early exposure to other milks, including infant milk formula can have deleterious effects on the immediate and long term growth health and survival of babies increasing their risk to diabetes mellitus obesity, heart disease, leukemia, emotional and cognitive deficits. Continued breastfeeding for two years protects mothers from breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heart disease and obesity.
Common misconceptions and misbeliefs.
They can sometimes lead to malpractices that interfere with breastfeeding success leading to early cessation of breastfeeding. Counseling breastfeeding mothers are used to accept what a mother thinks or feels and explain the importance of the correct practices and suggest change in behavior.
Education by health staff.
ALL pregnant should be informed of the benefits and management of breastfeeding including their rights to support in early initiation through first hour skin-to-skin contact.
They should be shown the technique of breastfeeding protected to exclusively breastfeed on demand night and day with NO restrictions in feeds and NO supplements bottles or pacifiers.
All health staff should abide to the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes by not displaying company products or advertising material to mothers, not accepting their gifts, grants, sponsorships, free samples and ensuring that all information they receive from companies are factual, scientific so as not discourage or undermine breastfeeding.
This is a field of medicine that allows specialists to support sick mothers, sick babies or babies with anomalies or handicaps to continue breastfeeding despite their condition. When mothers are unable to breastfeed mothers can feed baby their own expressed breast-milk or treated breast-milk, donor milk or nursing by a surrogate mother, artificial feeding comes as a last resort. Special formula may be necessary in certain rare inborn errors of metabolism.