SC Ten Steps Program

The goal of the SC Ten Steps Program is to support breastfeeding policies and practices in hospitals and birthing centers statewide.

The SC Ten Steps Program

The SC Breastfeeding Coalition has developed the SC Ten Steps Program to promote and support breastfeeding and ultimately help improve the health of mothers and babies in South Carolina.

The goal of the SC Ten Steps Program is to support breastfeeding policies and practices in hospitals and birthing centers statewide.  The SC Ten Steps Program will help hospitals and birthing centers progress towards Baby-Friendly Hospital designation.  The program will also help facilities meet the newly established Joint Commission (Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) perinatal care core measure for exclusive breast milk feeding.

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

The SC Ten Steps Program is based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as outlined by UNICEF-WHO.  The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding highlights the special role of maternity services in promoting and supporting breastfeeding:

1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.

2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.

3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.

6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.

7. Practice “rooming in”– allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.

8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.

9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.

10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Criteria for Recognition

The SC Breastfeeding Coalition would like to recognize facilities promoting and support breastfeeding.  The SC Ten Steps Program is completely voluntary and facilities self-report through online surveys administered annually by the SC Breastfeeding Coalition.  The recognition program is divided into Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum categories.  Facilities meeting the D2 Development Phase of the BFHI pathway will be recognized at the Bronze level;  D3 Dissemination Phase of the BFHI pathway will be recognized at the Silver level;  D4 Designation Phase of the BFHI pathway will be recognized at the Gold level; and designated Baby-Friendly Hospitals will be recognized at the Platinum level.

Benefits of Recognition

The SC Ten Steps Program recognition provides many benefits to your facility, all of which indicate your facility is working to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and the health of SC mothers and babies.  The SC Ten Steps Program is also a way to showcase your efforts in providing expert care to breastfeeding women and advertise this commitment in your community.

Facilities at the Bronze (6), Silver (8), and Gold (10) levels will receive:

  •  A SC Ten Steps Program certificate.
  •  A “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” decal to display on entrance doors.
  •  Recognition on the SC Breastfeeding Coalition website as a SC Ten Steps Program (with hyperlink to your facility website).

Facilities at the Silver (8) and Gold (10) levels will also receive:

  •  Media coverage at the SC Breastfeeding Coalition annual award ceremony in October.

Facilities at the Gold (10) level will also receive:

  •  A SC Ten Steps Program plaque.

The SC Ten Steps Program and Becoming a Baby-Friendly Hospital

South Carolina is proud of its Baby-Friendly Hospitals!  The SC Breastfeeding Coalition hopes that as facilities receive the SC Ten Steps Program recognition, they will continue to make the necessary changes to implement all Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and complete the 4-D Pathway designation to become a Baby-Friendly Hospital.  Baby-Friendly designation involves completion of phases through the 4-D Pathway (Discovery; Development; Dissemination; Designation).

 Platinum Recognition Program

The SC Breastfeeding Coalition wants to further recognize facilities receiving Baby-Friendly designation.  Baby-Friendly designated facilities will receive Platinum Recognition. In addition to the benefits of recognition received as part of the SC Ten Steps Program, these facilities will also be highlighted as a model program in an article on the home page of the SC Breastfeeding Coalition website.  More formal recognition of the hospital’s efforts will be made at the Coalition’s annual award ceremony in October.