20 Actions in 20 Days: Standards of care in breastfeeding

20 Actions in 20 Days

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has called on the entire nation to take 20 concrete action steps from the January 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding to support the removal of barriers to breastfeeding. The United States Breastfeeding Committee is hosting a “20 Actions in 20 Days” campaign to highlight these action steps and implementation strategies.

Action 10: Include basic support for breastfeeding as a standard of care for midwives, obstetricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners, and pediatricians.

Research has also shown that the more breastfeeding-supportive maternity practices that are in the place, the stronger the positive effect on breastfeeding. The CDC’s national Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey results show that many facilities are using maternity practices that are not evidence based and actually interfere with breastfeeding.

In 2010, the Northeast Florida Breastfeeding Collaborative held Grand Rounds for family practice, obstetric & pediatric physicians to discuss the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). Funded through a grant from the Blue Foundation of Florida, the objectives were to:

  • Identify the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding of the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
  • Describe optimal infant & young child feeding recommendations
  • Develop strategies to overcome barriers to exclusive breastfeeding
  • Recognize the key role of the physician in breastfeeding advocacy & support

The American Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine provides numerous clinical protocols for physicians, including “Breastfeeding-Friendly Physician’s Office, Part 1: Optimizing Care for Infants and Children” and “Breastfeeding Promotion in the Prenatal Setting.”