Breastfeeding Benefits

Couplet care, rooming-in and skin-to-skin contact offer even more benefits for mothers and babies who engage in breastfeeding. Newborns crave skin-to-skin contact and have the ability to latch onto the breast and breastfeed for the first time much sooner than those not kept in close contact with their mothers. Moms who hold their babies skin-to-skin after birth are also more likely to make greater amounts of breast milk, have less engorgement and generally breastfeed longer. The rooming-in setting also allows mother to learn their babies feeding cues, avoid the use of artificial nipples and establish a successful breastfeeding experience.

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

JFK Medical Center’s maternity and family suite upholds the World Health Organization/UNICEF “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” published in a joint statement entitled: “Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services”, which states:

Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  • Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.
  • Give infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
  • Practice rooming-in — allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them upon discharge from the hospital or birth center.

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding form the basis of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a worldwide breastfeeding quality improvement project created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Baby-friendly hospitals and birth centers also uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes by offering parents support, education and educational materials that promote the use of human milk rather than other infant food or drinks, and by refusing to accept or distribute free or subsidized supplies of breast milk substitutes, nipples and other feeding devices.