Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
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Step 7: Practice rooming-in - allow mothers and infants to remain together - 24 hours a day.

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Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:

Step 7: Practice rooming-in - allow mothers and infants to remain together - 24 hours a day.



Mothers with normal babies (including those born by caesarean section) should stay with them in the same room day and night, except for periods of up to an hour for hospital procedures, from the time they come to their room after delivery (or from when they were able to respond to their babies in the case of caesareans). It should start no later than one hour after normal vaginal deliveries. Normal postpartum mothers should have their babies with them or in cots by their bedside unless separation is indicated.

In many hospitals, newborns are kept in nurseries after delivery. Rooming-in allows mothers and their babies to stay together day and night to bond and to establish breastfeeding.

The seventh step about rooming–in is very important. Unless medically indicated, the baby remains with the mother 24 hours a day. Unless the mother is heavily sedated, she keeps the baby next to her in her bed.



What You Can Do.

Step 7 WABA Action ChartStep 7: WABA Action Chart

What You or Your Organisation Can Do
  >>   click here
World Breastfeeding Week 2010 Action Folders pdf format >>   English - Spanish

  • General
    In many hospitals newborns are kept in nurseries after delivery. Rooming-in allows mothers and their babies to stay together day and night to bond and to establish breastfeeding.

  • Health System
    Visit maternity facilities and discuss the importance of mothers keeping their newborns with them 24 hours a day following from the initial skin-to-skin contact. The baby can be in the same bed as the mother, or in a cot beside her bed where she can see and reach him or her without getting up. The baby should not be in a cot at the end of the mother's bed.

  • Community
    Support traditions and environments that allow a mother and child to be together throughout early infancy.

  • National / Global
    Advocate for a policy of rooming-in for all maternity services.

    Advocate for adequate paid maternity leave to enable mothers to be with their young infants and to breastfeed. Ask global organisations to support the ILO maternity leave and other breastfeeding support provisions.



Key Points:

Benefits of rooming-in
  • Cost effective
  • Requires minimal equipment
  • Requires no additional personnel
  • Reduces infection
  • Helps establish and maintain breastfeeding
  • Facilitates the bonding process which can positively affect breastfeeding duration rates
Limit time away from mother for medical procedures.

Nurses should help families plan for periods of rest during their hospital stay.

If the mother requests newborn be brought to the nursery, the infant should be brought to the mother when hunger cues are evident.


HIV Issues to Consider


Breastfeeding and HIV issues to considerStep 7: Practice rooming-in - allow mothers and infants to remain together - 24 hours a day.
Issues to consider while implementing this step in relation to feeding recommendations for children of HIV-infected mothers and for settings with high HIV prevalence.


  • In general it is best that HIV-positive mothers be treated just like mothers who are not HIV-positive and provided the same post partum care, including rooming-in/bedding-in. This will be best for the mothers and babies and will help protect privacy and confidentiality concerning their status.
     
  • HIV-positive mothers who have chosen not to breastfeed should be counselled as to how to have their babies bedded in with them, skin-to-skin, if they desire, without allowing the babies access to the breast. General mother-to-child contact does not transmit HIV.
     
  • Staff members who are aware of an HIV-positive mother's status need to take care to ensure that she is not stigmatised or discriminated against. If confidentiality is not insured, mothers are not likely to seek the services and support they need.





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   5 March, 2013
 
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