We kicked off an initiative this month to increase the percentage of mom’s that choose to breastfeed their newborn. The real key to success turns out to be the first couple of days after the baby is born (actually the first few hours are the most important). Our new program is called Baby Steps to Breastfeeding. It’s a voluntary 5-point plan that we’d like hospitals to implement (for newborns and moms) before they leave the hospital. When they implement the program they become an ADHS “Baby Friendly Hospital”.
The program is sponsored by WIC, and it’s based on the WHO’s Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. We’ll be providing guidance, training, ongoing technical support, materials and model policies for hospitals that want to participate. The initiative provides benefits to the participating hospitals, including marketing opportunities through our website, increased patient satisfaction and compliance with governing organizations requirements and standards. But, the biggest beneficiary will be Arizona mothers and infants, as private and public sectors work together to promote, protect and support this valuable foundation of good health.