Who is WHO? WHO stands for the World Health Organization, which is a special organization by the United Nations designed to identify good health practices. Before I get into the 10 steps of successful breastfeeding, let me first introduce what the WHO has identified as the four sources of infant food…in order they are the following: 1) Mother’s milk at her breast 2) Mother’s milk another way 3) Donor Milk 4) Formula.
Furthermore, mother’s milk at her breast is recommended exclusively for a minimum of the first 6 months of baby’s life.
The WHO has also developed the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in order to support breastfeeding and to streamline the information new mothers require in order to establish a good breastfeeding relationship. And without further adieu, here it is:
TEN STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL BREASTFEEDING
Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk unless medically indicated.
7. Practise rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together – 24 hours a day.
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.