New California law: Ten Steps for all!

On October 9, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 402 into law. This first-in-the nation law requires all perinatal hospitals in California to implement all Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding as adopted by Baby Friendly USA per the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, by January 1, 2025. Hospitals may use alternate guidelines such as the CA Department of Public Health Model Policies or the Kaiser Permanente Breastfeeding Toolkit, but alternate policies must be evidence-based and target specific outcomes.

The law is expected to reduce inequities in breastfeeding across the state, enabling more women to meet their breastfeeding goals: “Low-income women and children are experiencing grave health inequities,” said state Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) in his press release. “I thank the Governor for signing Senate Bill 402 because all mothers who go into the hospital wanting to breastfeed should be given the same opportunities for success no matter their zip code.”