Philipp BL, Radford A.
Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2006 Mar;91(2):F145-9.
Breastfeeding offers significant protection against illness for the infant and numerous health benefits for the mother, including a decreased risk of breast cancer. In 1991, UNICEF and WHO launched the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative with the aim of increasing rates of breastfeeding. “Baby-Friendly” is a designation a maternity site can receive by demonstrating to external assessors compliance with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The Ten Steps are a series of best practice standards describing a pattern of care where commonly found practices harmful to breastfeeding are replaced with evidence based practices proven to increase breastfeeding outcome. Currently, approximately 19,250 hospitals worldwide have achieved Baby-Friendly status, less than 500 of which are found in industrialised nations. The Baby-Friendly initiative has increased breastfeeding rates, reduced complications, and improved mothers’ health care experiences.