Baby-Friendly Initiative

Every hospital that attains the Baby-Friendly designation moves us closer to meeting important public health goals of increasing the proportion of live births that occur in facilities that provide recommended care for lactating mothers and their babies.  In Maine 19% of all deliveries occur at Baby-FriendlyTM designated facilities. The Healthy People 2020 goal is 8.1%.

Maine's Baby-Friendly hospitals are:

  • Bridgton Hospital
  • Central Maine Medical Center
  • Lincoln Health
  • MaineGeneral Medical Center
  • Stephens Memorial Hospital
  • York Hospital

Maine Breastfeeding Laws

Right to Breastfeed (2001): Maine law provides protection for women who nurse in public. A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.

Nursing Mothers in the Workplace (2009): For an employee who is a nursing mother, the employer shall for three years after the birth of a child:

* provide adequate unpaid break time, or permit an employee to use paid break time or meal time each day to express breast milk for her nursing child.

* make reasonable efforts to provide a clean room or other location, other than a bathroom, where an employee may express breast milk in privacy.

CDC Report Card

There are many ways that communities can support breastfeeding mothers and babies, and everyone plays a role. The CDC Breastfeeding Report Card provides information on breastfeeding practices and supports in all states.  According to the report card released in 2016 Maine has:       

  • 87% ever breastfed
  • 61% breastfeding at 6 months
  • 42% breastfeding at 12 months
  • 54% exclusive breastfeding at 3 months
  • 32% exclusive breastfeding at 6 months       

Report card findings also note that Maine ranked 1st in the U.S. for number of Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC) per 1000 births at 28.6 (the national average is 4.6).