Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding. The BFHI assists hospitals in giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

Why Choose a Baby-Friendly Birthing Facility?

Baby-Friendly birth facilities have taken special steps to create the best possible environment for successful breastfeeding.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is an international program of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The Initiative celebrates hospitals and birth centers that have put in place policies and practices to enable parents to make informed choices about how they feed and care for their babies. Hospitals and birth centers that have implemented the Ten Steps create an optimal environment for the initiation of breastfeeding.

The Ten Steps To Successful Breastfeeding

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

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

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

4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.

6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.

7. Practice “rooming in”-- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.

8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.

9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.

10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic

Reference:

BFHI USA

http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/eng/index.html