For Health Care Providers
Become a Breastfeeding Friendly Practice
Health care providers play an integral role in promoting and supporting the decision to breastfeed. Promotion and support begins during preconception care and continues through prenatal, postpartum, and ongoing care of the pregnant person, the infant, and the family. Providers are vital sources of expertise to communicate the advantages of breastfeeding and the risks of not breastfeeding, help promote exclusivity, and enable long-term breastfeeding success based on the parent’s intentions. Becoming designated as a Breastfeeding Friendly Practice indicates dedication to improving and establishing optimal maternity and newborn care in support of breastfeeding. This designation provides opportunities to promote the quality of your services to your community.
New York State Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Designation Materials
The designation materials are in the process of being updated to reflect updated guidelines and be inclusive of all breast/chestfeeding families. Updated materials for the designation program will be released in 2024. If you are a previously designated practice and are seeking to become redesignated, contact email@example.com.
Improve Hospital Breastfeeding Policies and Practices
- The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) Clinical Protocols: These protocols serve as guidelines for the care of breastfeeding mothers and infants.
- The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding: The Ten Steps were released in 1989 as the WHO/UNICEF Joint Statement on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding: The special role of the maternity services. The Innocenti Declaration in 1990 called upon the world to fully implement the Ten Steps in all maternity facilities worldwide. The Ten Steps consist of evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.
- CDC mPINC Surveys: The Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey Reports by State and Year assess infant feeding care processes, policies and staffing expectations in each state's maternity care settings.
- CDC Breastfeeding Report Cards: The reports published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide state-by-state data on breastfeeding rates and practices.
- Perinatal Services Regulations: Hospital-based regulations for maternal and newborn care in New York State.
- New York State Model Hospital Breastfeeding Policy, October 2016 (PDF)
- New York State Model Hospital Breastfeeding Policy: Implementation Guide, October 2016 (PDF)
Learn about NYS Breastfeeding Initiatives
- Dear Colleague Letter: Call to Action - Successful Breastfeeding Outcomes, April 3, 2017
- Great Beginnings NY - The Future Starts with Breastfeeding
- New York State Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals (BQIH)
Find Educational Opportunities
- Supporting and Promoting Breastfeeding, Chestfeeding and Lactation in Health Care Settings: This four-part webinar series is developed and produced by the NYS Department of Health and the School of Public Health, University at Albany (UAlbany). These on-demand webinars are designed to increase knowledge and skills, and provide recommended strategies for physicians and other health care providers to support women to successfully breastfeed. The Department worked with UAlbany in 2021-2022 to update and revise this webinar series. Continuing education credits are available.
- Wellstart International: The Wellstart's Lactation Management Self-Study Modules, Level 1 is an educational tool that is downloadable without charge.
- Breastfeeding Grand Rounds (BFGR) Webcasts [University at Albany]: This annual webcast is sponsored by the University at Albany School of Public Health Center for Public Health Continuing Education, in partnership with the New York State Department of Health Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program. Breastfeeding Grand Rounds (BFGR) webcasts feature clinical experts paired with public health experts to provide education on current breastfeeding health issues with both clinical and public health significance.
- Breastfeeding and Special Circumstances [CDC]: Information for health care providers and public health practitioners about contraindications to breastfeeding and special circumstances.
- Perinatal HIV Prevention Guidelines [NYSDOH AIDS Institute]: Recommended guidelines for therapy, testing, delivery method, infant feeding, and shared decision-making.