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10 Steps to Support the BFI

Hospitals and agencies, as appropriate, support the BFI by complying with the International Code of Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes WHO Code and by taking the following 10 Steps:

​1. Have a breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all staff.

2. Ensure all health care providers have the knowledge and skills needed to implement the breastfeeding policy.

3. Inform all pregnant women and their families about the importance and process of breastfeeding.

4. Place babies skin-to-skin with their mothers immediately following birth for at least an hour, after the first feeding is done, or as long as the mother wishes. Encourage mothers to recognize when their babies are ready to feed.

5. Help mothers to breastfeed and maintain lactation should they face challenges including separation from their infants.

6.Infants should not be offered food or drink other than breast milk for the first 6 months, unless advised by a doctor.

7. Provide 24 hour rooming-in for all mothers so that mother and infant can stay together.

8. Encourage baby-led or cue-based breastfeeding. Encourage sustained breastfeeding beyond 6 months with the introduction of other foods.

9. Support mothers to feed and care for their breastfeeding babies without the use of artificial teats or pacifiers.

10. Provide a seamless transition between the services provided by the hospital, community health services and peer support programs.

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