Infant Feeding Policy

Sharp HealthCare's comprehensive Infant Feeding Policy is designed to support optimal infant nutrition and health. Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that breastfeeding and exclusively providing mother’s own milk is best for the health of both infants and mothers.

In accordance with California law, our Infant Feeding Policy is based on the California Breastfeeding Model Hospital Policy Recommendations and the Baby Friendly 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These 10 steps provide an overview of the policy. The Infant Feeding Policy is organized to follow the Baby Friendly 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Baby Friendly 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming-in (allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day).
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital.

Infant Feeding Policy
The full policy gives details for each of the 10 steps and provide a proven road map for a successful feeding experience for mothers and babies. The road map begins with education health care providers so they can effectively support mothers and babies, and education of mothers so they can make an informed decision about feeding their infants. The policy road map supports mothers and babies staying together — starting with skin-to-skin care immediately after birth and continuing throughout the hospital stay. Mothers and babies are able to get to know each other with baby giving cues when feeding is desired and mothers getting support from staff to learn the special needs of newborns. At discharge, mothers are provided with information about how to get help when they go home to continue their feeding successes.

Read the full policy:

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