Hospital practices have a huge impact on a family’s infant feeding decision and the success of breastfeeding. As a health care provider, your role is to educate and encourage women to breastfeed and then support them in reaching their infant feeding goals.

The following are tips for breastfeeding success:

  1. woman and babyBreastfeed within the first hour. Babies should be put skin-to-skin immediately after birth.
  2. Practice rooming in. Mothers and babies should be kept in the same room day and night so mothers can get to know their baby’s signs of hunger.
  3. Breastfeed on demand. When a baby roots, makes sucking sounds, puts fist to mouth, or is starting to wake, this is a signal that a baby is ready to be fed.
  4. No bottles or pacifiers. Bottles and pacifiers often interfere with breastfeeding and cause babies not to nurse frequently enough.
  5. Breastfeed exclusively. Providing only breast milk protects the mother’s milk supply and gives mother and baby time to learn how to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding Plan

This handout can be provided to a mother to help her family and health care providers understand her ideal hospital experience and feeding goals.