Baby-Friendly Hospital Laws

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global initiative of UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) aimed at promoting hospital policies that encourage and support breastfeeding. Baby-Friendly USA, the organization with primary responsibility for implementing BFHI in the United States, has outlined 10 evidence-based practices that hospitals can implement to support breastfeeding (the “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”). These include written breastfeeding policies, staff training, rooming-in, and educating mothers about the benefits and management of breastfeeding. Several states have enacted statutes or regulations encouraging or requiring hospitals to adopt one or more of these “baby-friendly practices.”

This map identifies key features of state laws and regulations regarding recommendations or requirements for hospitals related to any of the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. It also includes state laws recommending or requiring certain hospital discharge practices related to breastfeeding. Click any state below to view that state's Baby-Friendly Hospital Laws, or click here to view D.C. Read more about Baby-Friendly Hospital Laws.

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