In 1989, WHO and UNICEF have published a joint statement of “Protecting, promoting and supporting breast-feeding: The special role of maternity services”, which includes the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” The “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” are the foundation of the WHO/ UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). They summarize the maternity practices necessary to support 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 br eastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one 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. Practice 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.
Queen Elzabeth Hosphital - BFH website