1. Szulecki, Diane Editor

Article Content

On this month's cover, a mother and her newborn share skin-to-skin contact. This form of bonding shortly after birth can help initiate early breastfeeding, and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can increase both the likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding for one to four months and the overall duration of breastfeeding.

Figure. On this mont... - Click to enlarge in new window On this month's cover, a mother and her newborn share skin-to-skin contact. Photo (C) Blend Images / Alamy Stock Photo.

In 1991, the WHO and the United Nations Children's Fund launched the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a program to promote breastfeeding in facilities around the world that provide maternal care. It was founded based on the WHO's "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding"-a set of evidence-based practices for promoting breastfeeding. The suggested practices include, for example, showing mothers how to breastfeed, allowing mothers and infants to be together 24 hours a day, and establishing breastfeeding support groups for mothers to attend after discharge.


Since its inception, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative has become the global standard for hospital support of breastfeeding and is credited for increases in breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity worldwide. This month's CE, "Beyond Maternity Nursing: The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative," provides an overview of the program, its certification process, and how it shapes hospital policies and practices in the support of breastfeeding. -Diane Szulecki, editor