Support in Health Care

Most women plan to breastfeed, but the policies and practices of the hospital or birthing center may not be fully supportive. The support of health-care professionals continues to be important after a woman is discharged; however, many health professionals need additional education and training in breastfeeding.

You can help by ensuring that health-care practices — from before pregnancy through a child's first years — support breastfeeding. It begins with properly educating all health-care professionals and including breastfeeding support as a standard of care, including access to skilled clinical lactation support and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants.

For example:

  • Improve breastfeeding content in education and training for health-care professionals.
  • Ensure that health-care clinicians do not serve as advertisers for infant formula.
  • Follow and implement maternity care practices that fully support breastfeeding.
  • Ensure comprehensive follow-up care for every newborn.
  • Work with Human Milk Banking Association of North America-member non-profit milk banks to increase access to banked donor milk for fragile infants.

For more ideas about how you can help with support and promotion of breastfeeding in health care, download this list of ideas.