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Hospital/Maternity Center Practices

The following organizations work towards hospital and maternity center practices that support breastfeeding.

Baby-Friendly USA

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation. The BFHI assists hospitals in giving breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

Find a Baby-Friendly Hospital in the U.S.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation, completed a national survey of maternity care feeding practices and policies, entitled the Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey , at all facilities in the United States and Territories providing intrapartum care. The survey was sent to all U.S. hospitals (n=3,143) and birth centers (n=138) with registered maternity beds, with a request that it be completed by the person at the birth facility who had the most knowledge regarding the facility’s maternity and infant feeding practices. Data were obtained from a total of 2,690 (82%) of the facilities. CDC plans to repeat the survey to assess changes over time.

Learn more on the CDC's mPINC Web page

Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS)

CIMS is a coalition of individuals and national organizations with concern for the care and well-being of mothers, babies, and families. Its mission is to promote a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and substantially reduce costs. This evidence-based mother-, baby-, and family-friendly model focuses on prevention and wellness as the alternatives to high-cost screening, diagnosis, and treatment programs.

The Birth Survey

Lamaze International

Lamaze International's mission is to promote, support and protect normal birth through education and advocacy. Lamaze members and volunteers include childbirth educators, labor support specialists, lactation consultants, maternal-child nurses, midwives, physicians, physical therapists, social workers, hospital nursing managers, students, and parents.

Lamaze Care Practice Papers

Listening to Mothers Surveys and Reports (partnership with Childbirth Connection)

Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) is a multidisciplinary group of health care providers that promotes, protects, and supports donor milk banking. It was founded in 1985 to:

  • Develop guidelines for donor human milk banking practices in North America
  • Provide a forum for information sharing among experts in the field on issues related to donor milk banking
  • Provide information to the medical community regarding use of donor milk
  • Encourage research into the unique properties of human milk for therapeutic and nutritional purposes
  • Act as a liaison between member banks and governmental agencies
  • Facilitate communication among member banks to assure adequate distribution of donor milk
  • Facilitate the establishment of new donor milk banks in North America using HMBANA standards

Find a Milk Bank