DAL 16-22 - Breastfeeding Policies

December 29, 2016

DHDTC DAL 16-22 - Breastfeeding Policies

Dear Chief Executive Officer:

The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) will be collecting written hospital breastfeeding policies from all NY hospitals that provide maternity care services. Hospitals are required to revise their written hospital breastfeeding policies to include new language from recent regulatory and statutory amendments. The amendment to Section 405.21 of Title 10 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations was published on October 19, 2016, and will take effect on January 16, 2017. Amendments to Section 2505-a of the Public Health Law (Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights)were made by Chapters 446 and 469 of the Laws of 2015.

The NYS DOH is requiring each hospital to submit their updated written hospital breastfeeding policies for review to ensure conformity with the revised regulatory and statutory provisions. Hospitals should indicate where the changes are located. In addition, they should describe their process to disseminate and educate maternity and newborn providers and staff annually about the hospital breastfeeding policies. The results of the review and individual feedback regarding the completeness of the policies will be provided by the NYS DOH.

The following hospital documents should be submitted by January 16, 2017:

  • Any breastfeeding policies and procedures as specified by regulation and the Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights;
  • Policies and procedures pertaining to pregnancy-related care for women who are pregnant at any stage, parturient or within six weeks from delivery and for infants 28 days of age or less or, regardless of age, who are less than 2,500 grams (5 ½ pounds);
  • Routine obstetric and newborn admission orders;
  • Policies and procedures related to the feeding and care of newborn infants including high-risk neonatal care, rooming-in, infant formula supplementation and hypoglycemia protocols;
  • Policies and procedures related to the care of the newborn in labor and delivery, postpartum care of the mother and discharge planning/support.

In support of these regulatory and legislative changes, the NYS Model Hospital Breastfeeding Policy and Implementation Guide were revised in October 2016, and have been posted on the NYS DOH's website at: http://www.health.ny.gov/community/pregnancy/breastfeeding/providers/.

The written hospital breastfeeding policies and supporting documentation may be sent via email to promotebreastfeeding@health.ny.gov or mailed to:

New York Department of Health
Division of Chronic Disease Prevention
Riverview Center, Room 350
150 Broadway
Albany, NY 12204
Attn: Debbie Gregg


Barbara A. Dennison, M.D., Director     Ruth Leslie, Director
Policy and Research Translation     Division of Hospitals and Diagnostic & Treatment Centers
Division of Chronic Disease Prevention     Office of Health Systems Management
Office of Public Health      

cc: Director of Maternity Services
Chiefs of Neonatology/Newborn Services and Obstetrics
Breastfeeding Coordinator