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Baby Friendly Community Initiative

Baby Friendly Community Initiative

The Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for healthy mothers and babies through the implementation of the Seven Point Plan and compliance to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the International Code).

Objectives

  • Increase the percentage of babies who are breastfed

  • Increase the duration of exclusive breastfeeding

  • Sustain breastfeeding after six months alongside the introduction of complementary foods

The Baby Friendly Community Initiative is a set of standards of care for health and community services. It builds on the principles of "The Ten Steps" and extends them to include health services in the community.

In New Zealand around 90% of babies are exclusively breastfed on discharge from Baby Friendly hospitals. This percentage drops away significantly by the time the baby is six weeks of age with a further drop off at three months.

"BFCI has an important role in creating supportive health services in the Community just as BFHI has in maternity services".

Julie Stufkens, NZBA Executive Officer

Staff in Baby Friendly accredited services adopt best practice standards for infant and young child feeding that aim to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. Services provide factual information and support for pregnant women and mothers. At the same time they will ensure that mothers who decide not to breastfeed are supported in their decision and provided with unbiased information and advice.