Going Baby Friendly

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) has two main goals:

1. To encourage and facilitate the transformation of hospital facilities in accordance with the WHO and UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

2. To end the practice of distribution of free and low-cost supplies of breastmilk substitutes to hospitals and health care facilities in accordance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions.

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) has been launched by WHO and UNICEF to encourage hospitals, health care facilities, and particularly maternity wards, to adopt practices that fully protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding from birth.

Becoming a Baby Friendly Hospital is a process that starts with self-appraisal by the hospital. This self-assessment will lead to the analysis of the infant feeding practices and then enable the changes necessary to encourage optimal outcomes. It thus follows the triple-A sequence (Assessment, Analysis, Action) which characterises other UNICEF Programme development.

After a facility is satisfied that it meets a high standard, this achievement is confirmed objectively by using internationally agreed standards for maternity care which protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding.

The process therefore concludes with an external evaluation of whether the facility has attained a level which can be awarded the global Baby Friendly Hospital designation and BFHI Certificate.

Baby Friendly Community Initiative

The Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for healthy mothers and babies. The New Zealand Breastfeeding Authority was contracted by the Ministry of Health to facilitate the implementation of BFCI in health services in the community.

A Baby Friendly Community Service is a health service in the community which has practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding to enable mothers to initiate and sustain breastfeeding of their babies. When babies are artificially fed, their mothers are provided with unbiased information and advice. All mothers therefore are provided with appropriate care and support.

The Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) has The Seven Point Plan which has been developed by adapting the WHO / UNICEF Ten Steps for a Baby Friendly Hospital.