Step Number 1

Infant Feeding Policy

Have a written breastfeeding policy for your facility that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.

Help moms breastfeed successfully by having a patient-centered breastfeeding policy.

Why Step 1?

Periodic review and update of your infant feeding policies assures support for the goals of the WHO and UNICEF’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, or WHO Code. An evidence-based policy helps to guide your staff and facility leadership in the delivery of best-practice care.

A written breastfeeding policy benefits mom and baby

Primary Goals of Step 1

  1. Create a breastfeeding policy that promotes patient-centered care and supports the principles of dignity, respect, responsiveness, empowerment, informed decision making and cultural relevance. 
  2.  Include in policy the requirement for staff to implement the Ten Steps and the WHO Code. 
  3. Train your staff on the policy within six months of hire and provide ongoing continuing education on the principles of the policy. Find additional Training Resources. 
  4. Display your policy and/or a printed guide in all patient care areas where pregnant women, mothers, babies and children are served. 
  5. Ensure that all staff follow the policy through regular auditing.

Ten Step Self-Assessment

Use the Ten Step Self-Assessment to help you evaluate your progress for this step. This self- assessment document does not have to be submitted with application.

New Applicants

  • Use document checklist (PDF) to ensure appropriate support documentation is included with application.
  • If your current practice does not meet these criteria, review the Ten Step Self-Assessment to assess how your facility might fully implement this step.

View Application and Support Documents

Re-Designation Applicants

  • Review your individual Ten Step Scorecard from the last designation for change recommendations.
  • Use the Ten Step Self-Assessment Tool to help plan for step-by-step improvement in any areas needed.
  • Review the Baby Friendly USA, Inc. Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria to view full standard for this step.

Download Baby Friendly Guidelines