Baby Steps for Breastfeeding Success

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The Arizona Baby Steps to Breastfeeding Success promotes implementation of five evidence-based maternity care practices that have a positive impact on breastfeeding success for mothers who want to breastfeed. The goal of the program is to improve breastfeeding duration and exclusive breast milk feeding. The Arizona Department of Health Services is partnering with professional organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Arizona Perinatal Trust to bring this voluntary program to hospitals across Arizona. Funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant made this program possible.

The majority of Arizona's mothers and babies start out breastfeeding. This program is designed to help those mothers meet their personal goals with infant feeding. One key predictor of long term success with breastfeeding is a getting off to a good start during the hospital stay. The five steps of the Baby Steps to Breastfeeding Success program have been shown to increase the length of time that mothers breastfeed and reduce the use of infant formula when there is no medical need for supplementation.

Medical facilities that participate in the program agree to follow the steps below for patients whenever medically possible:

  • Initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth.
  • Avoid giving infants fluids or solids other than breast milk unless medically necessary.
  • Promote 24-hour rooming-in, encouraging the family to recognize and respond to infant's cues.
  • Avoid using pacifiers or artificial nipples with infants during the hospital stay.
  • Give mothers a telephone number to call for help with breastfeeding.

Twenty-one Arizona hospitals have agreed to participate in this voluntary program. Participating hospitals can be assured that they are following evidence-based best practices pertaining to breastfeeding support.

The Arizona Department of Health Services is here to help you every step of the way. 1-800-833-4642