Baby Friendly Initiative
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Childrens 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.
The BFHI promotes, protects, and supports breastfeeding through The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for Hospitals, as outlined by UNICEF/WHO. The steps for the United States are:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
- Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
- Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- Practice “rooming in”– allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
- Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic
In July 2013 Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center in Carson City became Nevada’s first Baby-Friendly hospital. Following shortly thereafter, the St. Rose Dominican Hospitals Siena and San Martin campuses in Las Vegas and Henderson achieved Baby-Friendly status. We would like to congratulate these hospitals on receiving Baby-Friendly designation!
Nevada Employer Resources
To assist Nevada employers in complying with current legislation and to help educate them about the value of supporting breastfeeding employees in the workplace, we have included a number of valuable resources and tools on our website.
Health Care Reform Bill
On March 30, 2010, a new law under the Health Care Reform Bill mandates employers to provide a space, not a bathroom, in which female employees can express milk for their children as needed.
Health Care Reform Boosts Support for Employed Breastfeeding Mothers
With the inclusion of this provision in health care reform legislation, the U.S. joins the rest of the industrialized world in recognizing breastfeeding as the natural outcome of pregnancy, and workplace lactation programs as the natural outcome of a society where the majority of mothers and infants are separated due to work.
The reform bill amends the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 207, by requiring that an employer provide: (1) ”a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk,” and (2) ”a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”
This amendment does not require employers to compensate employees for time spent taking a “reasonable break” to “express milk.” Furthermore, this amendment does not apply if (1) an employer employs fewer than 50 employees and (2) the “reasonable breaks” would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.
If you are a Nevada Employer and have not already done so, you are strongly encouraged to begin complying with this law establishing adequate areas for nursing mothers to take breastfeeding breaks for up to one year following the birth of a child. These nursing areas must be shielded from view and free from intrusion. Employers should also note that the amendment does not set a limit on the number of breastfeeding breaks a nursing mother can take; it allows for a break “each time” the nursing mother needs to “express breast milk.”