Silver Cross Hospital

The way you should be treated.™


To promote and support breastfeeding to all childbearing families by providing accurate and consistent information and assistance, using evidence-based research.  Silver Cross Hospital considers breastfeeding the normative standard for infant feeding and nutrition and will actively support breastfeeding as the preferred feeding method while supporting a mother’s choice of feeding method.  Silver Cross Hospital Department of Women and Infant Services promotes the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Supportive Data:

Healthy People 2020 goals are 81.9% breastfeeding initiation, 61% breastfeeding at 6 months, and 34% breastfeeding at 1 year.  The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding for at least the first year. WHO goes even farther to recommend continued breastfeeding throughout the second year and for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.  

1.  A written breastfeeding policy is routinely communicated to all health care staff.  Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended as the ideal nutrition for newborns.  Mothers who choose formula feeding will be supported in their choice and provided individual instruction.

2.  Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy. Breastfeeding education and support of the breastfeeding couplet will be offered to all nursing staff caring for mothers and newborns. OB staff will receive appropriate breastfeeding training to fully support the breastfeeding family.

3.  Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding. Lactation consultation and breastfeeding support will be available for all breastfeeding mothers and for OB staff consultation.  Appropriate referrals to prenatal breastfeeding education will be encouraged for undelivered Maternity patients. Benefits of breastfeeding are included in Prenatal Education Classes; Breastfeeding classes are additionally available. No group education on formula use is offered.

4.  Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.   Early Mother Infant Contact will be supported to promote successful breastfeeding.  Direct skin to skin contact will be encouraged and offered for all mothers and healthy infants for a minimum of 30 minutes within the first two hours after birth, as mother’s condition warrants. Breastfeeding will be initiated within the first hour after birth for all uncomplicated births for those mothers who request breastfeeding.

5.  Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.  Nurses and Lactation Consultants assess breastfeeding mother and infant, and offer assistance as needed.  Breast pumping and/or hand expression will be initiated within 6 hours of birth for all breastfeeding mothers who are separated from their infants.  Expressed milk is used before any breast milk substitutes. 

6.  Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.  Exclusive breastfeeding will be recommended as the ideal nutrition for newborns unless medically indicated supplementation is documented or when exclusive breastfeeding is contraindicated.  All breastfeeding mothers are offered support for exclusive breastfeeding.  If a breastfeeding mother requests formula to be given to her baby, the nurse will explore the reasons who she requests formula and provide education on benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.  If the mother still requests formula, the nurse documents the additional education provided and complies with the mother’s request. 

7.  Practice rooming-in. Rooming in 24 hours per day is the standard of care for healthy mothers and infants. Parents are offered assistance and education to calm fussy infants and facilitate rest and sleep Parents are educated on the advantages of rooming in, hunger cues, and on using on-demand breastfeeding.  If the mother declines rooming in, the nurse documents the education provided and complies with the mother’s request. Mothers will be offered their infants for feedings as per infant demand.  Mothers are allowed access to special care nursery babies at any time.  

8.  Encourage breastfeeding on demand.  Mothers and their support people will be instructed on early and late hunger cues and are taught to respond to infant feeding cues.  No restrictions are placed on the frequency or duration of breastfeeding.

9.  Give no artificial nipples or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants. Mothers who plan to combine breastfeeding and formula feeding will be educated about the advantages of beginning with full breastfeeding to establish milk supply. Formula will not be offered to breastfeeding mothers.  All materials distributed to breastfeeding mothers and displayed in the hospital are free of messages that promote or advertise infant nutrition other than breast milk.  Pacifiers are not supplied to healthy babies; alternate methods for soothing are discussed with parents.  

10.  Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.  Mothers will be instructed on existing support groups and other appropriate resources for breastfeeding support after discharge.

Breastfeeding Support Group: 

New mothers have many questions and concerns about breastfeeding in the weeks leading up to and after birth. Breastfeeding support groups are a wonderful way to exchange information and experiences. The meetings are led by certified lactation consultants.


Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services, a joint WHO/UNICEF statement published by the World Health Organization

American Academy of Pediatrics. Section on Breastfeeding 2012.Sample Hospital Breastfeeding Policy for Newborns and Statement on Use of Human Milk 

CDC National Survey of Maternity Care Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care 

Healthy People 2020

JCAHO:  Perinatal Care Core Measure on Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2011 

Illinois 97th General Assembly- Bill Status of HB 4968


Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.