NC Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation Program

The NC Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation (NC MCBFD) initiative has been developed to recognize those maternity centers that have taken steps to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in their organization. A five-star system has been developed. A star is awarded for every two steps achieved in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as defined by the World Health Organization  and Baby Friendly USA. The North Carolina initiative encourages maternity centers across the state to promote and support breastfeeding one step at a time. 

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Five-Star Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation 

* Facilities with an asterisk have achieved full Baby Friendly Designation from Baby Friendly USA. 

Four-Star Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation 


Three-Star Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation 


Two-Star Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation 


One-Star Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation 


Although, NCMCBFD is based on the Baby-Friendly, USA guidelines and criteria for the implementation of the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, is different in that:

  • Recognition is awarded incrementally (for every 2 steps attained) to help support a continuum of improvement 
  • It is local to North Carolina 
  • No fees associated with the designation 
  • No site visits required

The benefits of participating in this voluntary program include: 

  • Improving the health of the mother-baby dyad 
  • Increasing satisfaction with maternity care services in your facility 
  • Building momentum in your facility to move across the continuum towards achieving Baby-Friendly status
  • Public recognition of your efforts towards becoming breastfeeding-friendly 
  • Free marketing to the public about your efforts 
  • Contributing to the improvement of breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity in North Carolina

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding 

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

  1. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy; 

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

  1. Help all mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth; 

  1. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants; 

  1. Give newborns no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated; 

  1. Practice rooming-in allow mothers and infants to remain together-24 hours per day; 

  1. Encourage breastfeeding on demand; 

  1. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers; and 

  1.  Foster the establishment of breast-feeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic. 

Each of the Baby Friendly Ten Steps is described in the application. Following each description are related questions. Many require documentation to support the answer. Options and/or examples are often given to assist you in providing acceptable documentation.

Application for the North Carolina Maternity Center Breastfeeding Friendly Designation (NC MCBFD)