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The Baby Friendly Initiative

 The Baby-Friendly™ Initiative (BFI) is an International Program developed by WHO & UNICEF for the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding.


  • To give every baby the best start in life by creating a health care environment where breastfeeding is the norm.

  • To empower mothers to make an informed decision about how to feed their newborns.

  • To support early initiation of breastfeeding.

  • To promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months.

  • To ensure the discontinuation of free and low cost infant formula supply to hospitals.

The term Baby Friendly means that all families, breastfeeding or not, receive the same support and evidence-based care from any health service or program.

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

In order to achieve a Baby-Friendly™ designation, a hospital or community health service must follow these Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding developed by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

1.a. Comply with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions

1.b. Have a written Infant Feeding Policy that is routinely communicated to all staff, pregnant women/persons and parents. 

1.c. Establish ongoing BFI monitoring and data-management systems. 

2. Ensure that staff have the competencies (knowledge, attitudes and skills) necessary to support mothers/birthing parents to meet their infant feeding goals.

3. Discuss the importance and process of breastfeeding with pregnant women/persons and their families. 

4. Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact at birth. Support mothers/birthing parents to respond to the infant’s cues to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth. 

5. Support mothers/parents to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and manage common difficulties. 

6. Support mothers/parents to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, unless supplements are medically indicated. 

7. Promote and support mother-infant togetherness. 

8. Encourage responsive, cue-based feeding for infants. Encourage sustained breastfeeding beyond six months with appropriate introduction of complementary foods. 

9. Discuss the use and effects of feeding bottles, artificial nipples and pacifiers with parents. 

10. Provide a seamless transition between the services provided by the hospital, community health services and peer-support programs. 

To learn more about the Baby Friendly Initiative visit the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada website.

Saskatchewan Health Authority - Our Baby-Friendly Pledge

Baby Friendly Designation

In October 2011, West Winds Primary Health Centre received the first Baby-Friendly designation in the Province of Saskatchewan. Re-designation was obtained in 2016 and 2022.

Last Modified: Tuesday, March 28, 2023 |
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