WIC in Vermont

The 10 Steps Project: Empowering Mothers and Nurturing Babies

What it means for Mothers and Babies

Vermont hospitals are already ranked 6th in the nation in mother-baby care according to the national mPINC survey. They are committed to excellence, and are getting ready to serve you even better! The “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” are the first steps to gaining the international award of being a Baby-Friendly Hospital, to help Moms from pregnancy through birth and beyond.

Hospitals that follow the 10 Steps recognize the benefits of breastfeeding and are committed to helping every mother achieve her goal.
  •  Exclusive breastfeeding: All your baby’s suckling needs to be at your breast to establish a good milk supply. No supplements will be given without your permission.
  • Skin-to-skin: Your skin is the best place for your baby to receive warmth and comfort. Your baby will be placed skin-to-skin with you for at least thirty minutes as soon as possible, and as often as possible throughout your stay.
  • First hour: The first hour is an important bonding and feeding time. You will receive assistance initiating breastfeeding within the first hour, and nobody will force your baby if she isn’t ready yet.
  • No bottles or pacifiers: No artificial nipples (pacifiers or bottles with formula or water) will be given to your baby. If there is a medical reason for supplementation, you will be given all the information and choices you need to support continued breastfeeding.
  • Routine exams: Whenever possible, examinations of your baby and hospital procedures will be performed in your room.
  • Emergency cesarean:  If an emergency cesarean is necessary, your baby will be brought to you skin-to-skin as soon as possible. If you are medically unavailable, your partner may hold your baby skin-to-skin.
  • Rooming in: You will be with your baby 24 hours a day whenever possible to allow for maximum bonding time and a natural feeding pattern. If you must be away from your baby, she will be brought to you at the earliest signs of hunger.
  • Breastfeeding assistance: You will be taught to identify correct positioning and latch to make sure you and your baby are a comfortable and effective breastfeeding team.
  • Breast pumps: If your baby is unable to breastfeed or separated from you for medical reasons, a breast pump will be provided or recommended within 6 hours of delivery to maintain your milk supply.
  • Discharge bags: You will not be given formula advertisements or marketing samples. If supplementation is medically necessary, you will receive the feeding advice you need.
  • Breastfeeding support after discharge: You will be given contact information for breastfeeding support in case you need breastfeeding assistance or advice after you return home.

Hospitals all around the state will be participating in training courses and quality improvement programs. It’s a great time for breastfeeding in Vermont!