A model infant feeding policy for Baby-Friendly designation in the USA

J Hum Lact. 2012 Aug;28(3):304-11. doi: 10.1177/0890334412440626. Epub 2012 Apr 26.


Background: In June 2010, the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) funded a New Jersey (NJ) Office on Nutrition and Fitness, Department of Health and Senior Services project to reduce obesity and increase exclusive breastfeeding by increased implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the state of NJ. At baseline, NJ had no Baby-Friendly hospitals and no hospital was using an infant feeding policy that conformed to standards required by Baby-Friendly USA for designation.

Goal: To create a model infant feeding policy that would be adaptable for use at multiple NJ hospitals preparing for Baby-Friendly designation.

Methods: Project consultants created a policy based on existent policies from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, certified Baby-Friendly hospitals, and guidance from Baby-Friendly USA. This policy was submitted to Baby-Friendly USA, the US body responsible for Baby-Friendly designation.

Results: Baby-Friendly USA requested changes; after adaptations, the policy was made available to targeted NJ hospitals via a statewide portal. The hospitals made relevant adaptations for their setting, and those that were ready submitted the policy during the Baby-Friendly designation process. The policy was acceptable to Baby-Friendly USA.

Conclusion: A collaborative initiative can use a single breastfeeding policy template as an aid toward Baby-Friendly designation. Such work streamlines the process and saves time and resources.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Delivery Rooms / organization & administration
  • Delivery Rooms / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care / methods
  • Infant Care / organization & administration
  • Infant Care / standards*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration
  • Maternal Health Services / standards*
  • Models, Organizational*
  • New Jersey
  • Organizational Policy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • United Nations
  • United States
  • World Health Organization