Healthcare Professionals

Health care professionals can also show their support for breastfeeding by following and incorporating these 10 steps. The first and foremost is simply committing to the importance of breastfeeding. Discuss breastfeeding with your patients and let them know you think it is the best nutrition for their baby. Inform them on how to breastfeed, how often, and other professionals they can contact if they have questions. (see Ten Steps to Support Parents’ Choice to Breastfeed Their Baby)

10 Steps for Health Professionals to Follow in Supporting Breastfeeding:

  1. Make a commitment to the importance of breastfeeding.
  2. Train all staff in skills necessary to support breastfeeding.
  3. Inform women and families about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Assess infants during early follow-up visits.
  5. Encourage mothers to breastfeed on demand.
  6. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation when they will be away from their babies.
  7. Use appropriate anticipatory guidance that supports exclusive breastfeeding until infants are about 6 months old, and encourage the continuation of breastfeeding as long as mutually desired by the mother and baby.
  8. Support breastfeeding by providing accurate information about maternal issues.
  9. Communicate support for breastfeeding in the office environment.
  10. Expand the network of support for breastfeeding.