Baby Friendly Initiative
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THE BABY-FRIENDLY INITIATIVE
What is the Baby-Friendly Initiative?
Initiative (BFI) is an internationally recognized system of
measuring and maintaining breastfeeding support in hospitals and
community health facilities. Created by Unicef and the World Health
Organization in 1991, the BFI outlines ten evidenced-based steps
for hospitals and community health centres to optimally support
maternal-child health for all mothers and babies . The
Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) is our national authority
for supporting breastfeeding families, and for a facility to achieve
the Baby Friendly Designation from the BCC, it must have a breastfeeding
policy, support consistent breastfeeding education for all staff,
go through a rigorous assessment process, and plan to maintain all
ten steps as outlined by the BFI.
Baby-Friendly Designation benefits
mothers, babies, families, healthcare workers, facilities and the
community at large. In Baby-Friendly facilities, families can expect
consistent information and support based on evidence-based research
and best practice. Health professionals are empowered with the knowledge
and skills necessary to support mothers to continue their chosen
method of feeding for as long as they wish.
The Baby Friendly Initiative was also designed in accordance with
Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.