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.
Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care providers and volunteers.
Ensure all health care providers have the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the breastfeeding policy.
Inform all pregnant women and their families about the importance and process of breastfeeding.
Place babies in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately following birth for at least an hour or until completion of the first feeding or as long as the mother wishes: encourage mothers to recognize when their babies are ready to feed, offering help as needed.
Assist mothers to breast feed and maintain lactation should they face challenges including separation from their infants.
Infants are not offered food or drink other than human milk for the first 6 months, unless medically indicated.
Facilitate 24 hour rooming-in for all mothers: mothers and infants remain together.
Encourage baby-led or cue-based breastfeeding.
Support mothers to feed and care for their breastfeeding babies without the use of artificial teats or pacifiers (dummies or soothers).
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.
Baby Friendly Designation
In October 2011, West Winds Primary Health Centre received the first Baby-Friendly designation in the province of Saskatchewan.
What a family can expect at a Baby Friendly Facility.