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Comment & Response
March 2017

The Importance of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

Author Affiliations
  • 1The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Baby-Friendly USA Inc, Albany, New York
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(3):302-303. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4786

To the Editor The article titled “Unintended Consequences of Current Breastfeeding Initiatives” asserts that “[u]nfortunately, there is now emerging evidence that full compliance with the 10 steps of the initiative may inadvertently be promoting potentially hazardous practices and/or having counterproductive outcomes.”1(p923) This highly speculative statement is made without citation or scientific evidence. The accompanying commentary by Drs Meek and Noble2 provides strong, recent evidence for the benefits of breastfeeding initiation in the first hour of life and for continued exclusive breastfeeding, facilitated by the evidence-based practices of skin-to-skin care and rooming-in,3 in accordance with accepted safety protocols, as indicated by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria.4

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