What is the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative?

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother-baby bonding. It recongizes and awards birthing facilities who sucessfully implement the Ten Steps to Sucessful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.


What does being Baby-Friendly entail?

Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding outcomes and mother-baby bonding.

It compels facilities to examine, challenge and modify long-standing policies and procedures. It requires training and skill building among all levels of staff. It entails implementing audit processes to assure quality in all aspects of maternity care operations.


What are the benefits of becoming Baby-Friendly?


What is the 4-D Pathway?4-D Pathway BFHI

The 4-D Pathway to Baby-Friendly Designation outlines the phases of becoming a Baby-Friendly facility including (1) Discovery, (2) Development, (3) Dissemination and (4) Designation.


What are 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 the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits of breastfeeding 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.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, 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 birth center.


Which hospitals in Michigan are Baby-Friendly?


Learn More

Visit www.babyfriendlyusa.org for more information on initiating in the BFHI designation process, an overview of the 4-D Pathway, getting answers to specific questions and more.


Source: Baby-Friendly USA