Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infant 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 a one 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 breastmilk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming-in – 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

Resources for Birthing, Breastfeeding and Parenting

  • BPNI (BREASTFEEDING PROMOTION NETWORK OF INDIA.) ( is your online guide to breastfeeding, childbirth and childcare information. This site features detailed information on Breastfeeding such as “Why you should Breastfeed”, “How you should Breastfeed”, “How to Prepare yourself for Breastfeeding”, “Problems associated during Breastfeeding”, ” and much more. The site also provides information on family planning, childcare and complementary feeding.
  • La Leche League International ( mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.
  • Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine ( is a worldwide organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding and human lactation. Its’ mission is to unite, into one association, members of the various medical specialties with this common purpose.
  • KEM Hospital, Mumbai ( is dedicated to providing a head start for premature infants by providing Kangaroo Care and support for mothers to breastfeed. KEM also boasts a human milk bank whose purpose is to collect, screen, process, store & distribute donated human milk that is dispensed to recipients who are not the biological offsprings of the donor mother.

Guidelines for Complementary Feeding (CF)

  1. Practice Exclusive Breastfeeding from birth-6 months of age and introduce CF at 6 months (180 days) while continuing to Breast feeding(BF)
  2. Continue frequent, on-demand BF till 2nd birthday and beyond
  3. Responsive feeding
  4. Safe preparation & Storage of CF
  5. Start at the end of 6 months of age with small amount of food & increase the quantity as the child grows up, It is important to continue breastfeeding frequently along with CF.
  6. Gradually increase food consistency & variety as the infant grows up
  7. Feed a variety of foods to ensure that nutrient needs are met
  8. CF guidelines should be followed however menu should be based on local availability of food
  9. Use of Vitamin-Mineral Supplements
  10. Increase fluid intake during illness & continued frequent BF & encourage child to eat soft, varied, appetizing & favorite foods.