The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) announced its theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2010, scheduled to take place August 1-7, 2010: “Just 10 Steps! Breastfeeding the Baby-Friendly Way.”
By focusing on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this theme recognizes the vital role that health care facilities play in the establishment of breastfeeding. The joint WHO/UNICEF statement outlines the Ten Steps as follows:
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
7. Practise rooming-in – that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together – 24 hours a day.
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
The year 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration, which called for the implementation of the Ten Steps in all maternity facilities. WABA reports that in the past 20 years, approximately 28% of the 20,000 maternity facilities have fully implemented the Ten Steps and been certified by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI).
Stay tuned for an announcement from La Leche League about its World Breastfeeding Week Celebrations and implementation of the theme for 2010.