Standard of Care
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
(ABM) has developed a 27-point breastfeeding policy
[PDF – 100 KB] that obstetric facilities can adopt. The ABM model breastfeeding policy uses the 10 Steps as a foundation and adds a lot of helpful guidelines on how to implement the 10 Steps, such as the following:
- Newborns will be placed on the mother’s chest, skin to skin, and breastfeeding will be initiated within one hour of birth.
- On each shift, breastfeeding assessment, teaching, and documentation will be done with a new mother.
- The infant feeding choice—exclusive breastfeeding, breastfeeding and formula feeding, etc.—must be recorded in the medical record.
- The facility won’t accept free formula and won’t accept branded materials—totes, coupons, pamphlets, etc.—from formula-producing companies.
- The facility won’t give group instruction on formula feeding.
- New mothers will be encouraged to use available breastfeeding resources, such as classes, support groups, or a hotline, and they may be referred to lactation consultants if necessary.
- Before leaving the hospital, the new mother should be able to demonstrate how to position her baby at the breast, how the baby latches, when the baby is swallowing milk, etc.
- A multidisciplinary, culturally appropriate team will be assembled to troubleshoot clinical challenges to breastfeeding and to annually evaluate data on breastfeeding support services.
The model breastfeeding policy also details cases where breastfeeding is contraindicated (inadvisable)—for example, if a mother is HIV-positive, is using illicit drugs, or has herpetic lesions on the breast.
Download the model breastfeeding policy to read all the guidelines. Clinicians should also familiarize themselves with the other statements and clinical protocols
of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
ABM Clinical Protocol #7: Model Breastfeeding
Policy (Revision 2010)
[PDF – 100 KB]
ABM Statements and Clinical Protocols