If you haven’t heard of it, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched in 1991 by the World Health Organization and UNICEF as a way to encourage facilities to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and to follow the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. As lactation consultants and mothers who have breastfed their own children, the team behind littlebeam fully supports this initiative…after all, knowledge is power! The BFHI is all about informing families, and providing the skills and equipment necessary to initiate and continue breastfeeding of infants, as well as information on how to safely feed your child with formula, should that be the path that parents choose to take! This program essentially creates an informative but non-judgemental zone for parents, which is exactly what they need after giving birth! The BFHI also lends support and special recognition to facilities that work to implement this program.
If you follow our newsletter, you’ll be seeing a little bit of information concerning the BFHI in the issue we sent out on Monday, including this amazing statistic: in 2007, there were around 60 Baby-Friendly designated facilities across the United States. Fast forward to 2018 and that number has grown to over 500! That is a 733% increase in just over 10 years, with Baby-Friend hospitals in each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico!
Because of these facilities, families are able to figure out the best way to feed their child, free from commercial involvement and persuasion, and are able to learn about life post-partum in a nurturing and educational way. After giving birth, parents are given information on the benefits of breastfeeding in a non-sales way, and are then able to make decisions for their child based on their individual needs - amazing!
Want to learn more about the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative? Visit the Baby-Friendly USA website, where they post resources, FAQ’s, etc, and comment below if you have thoughts on this initiative!