Where can I find out more about Baby-Friendly facilities and how to achieve this?
What happens during the first days of breastfeeding has a major impact on breastfeeding later. In 1991, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to encourage all birthing facilities to provide adequate breastfeeding support.
A birthing facility can received the designation “Baby-Friendly” when it does not accept free or discounted infant formula, feeding bottles or nipples/teats, and has implemented all of the following Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding:
• Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
• Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
• Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
• Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one half hour of birth (one hour in the U.S.).
• Show mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
• Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
• Practice rooming in—that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
• Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
• Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
• Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
For more information about this initiative internationally, click here.
For information about this initiative in the United States and for a list of U.S. hospitals who have been awarded the Baby Friendly designation, click here.