The Baby Friendly Initiative in Health Services
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The Baby Friendly Initiative in Health Services. Health Canada Recommendation. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life for healthy term infant, as breast milk is the best food for optimal growth.

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The Baby Friendly Initiative in Health Services

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The Baby Friendly Initiative in Health Services

Health Canada Recommendation

  • Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life for healthy term infant, as breast milk is the best food for optimal growth.

  • Infants should be introduced to nutrient rich solid foods with particular attention to iron at six months with continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.

What Is It?

  • A ten step plan that summarizes the maternity practices necessary to support breastfeeding.

  • The implementation of RNAO best practices that protect, support and promote breastfeeding.

  • Endorsement of the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

The Ten Step Plan

1.Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all staff and volunteers.

2. Train all health care providers in the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the breastfeeding policy.

3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding

  • within a half-hour of birth.


5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.

6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk unless medically indicated.

  • Practice rooming-in

  •  Allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.

8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.

9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.

10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Compliance with The International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes.

The World Health Organization Code

for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

  • Aim: To contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for all infants.

  • Scope: All breast-milk substitutes, bottles and nipples and any information concerning their use.

  • Advertising: no advertising of the above products to the public.

The World Health Organization Code

for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

  • Labels: Breastmilk substitute labels must clearly state the superiority of breastfeeding with proper instructions and no pictures of infants.

  • Samples: No free samples to mothers, their families or health care workers.

  • Facilities: No promotion of products covered under the scope (displays, posters, pamphlets etc.).

The World Health Organization Code

for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

  • Health Care Workers: Accept no gifts or samples.

  • Supplies: No free or low-cost supplies of breast milk substitutes to hospitals.

  • Information: Educational materials must explain the benefits of breastfeeding and the costs associated with formula feeding.

In February 2010 Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit achieved Baby Friendly Accreditation!

Where Do We Go From Here?

Continue to monitor breastfeeding rates at hospital discharge, 48 hours post-discharge, and 2 weeks

Work to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates to 6 months and develop a method to obtain data

Send in yearly reports to the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada

Continue to work with local agencies to increase breastfeeding awareness, support and practices

Re-assessment in 2015

Who Benefits From Baby Friendly?

The woman and her child

  • Consistent care & information

  • Skilled help

  • Getting off to a good start

  • Breastfeeding is valued

  • Mothers are empowered

Caregivers for Mothers and Babies

  • Increased knowledge

  • Increased skills

  • Professional competence

  • Respect for women

Care becomes “woman-centred”

not “task-centred”

Health Care Facilities

  • High Standards of care are measured and met

  • Meets the RNAO Best Practice Standards for care of breastfeeding mothers and babies

The Family

  • Health and development of the infant

  • Health of the mother

  • Saves money

The Community

  • Environmentally Friendly

  • Social programs

  • Decreased costs for medical care







Breastfeeding Is Normal

  • It’s done worldwide

  • Initiation rate 84% at CKHA

  • Exclusive breastfeeding at discharge is 40-50%

  • Breastfeeding rates are dropping dramatically until only about 9% are exclusively breastfeeding to 6 months

Attitudes About Breastfeeding

  • Attitude affects Behaviour

  • Important to explore:

    • Feelings about breastfeeding

    • Myths about Breastfeeding

When Breastfeeding is Normal, Babies Are Protected

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez talks with people affected by flooding in Araira, 50 km (31 miles) from Caracas this past February.

Why Should MothersBreastfeed?


  • Nutritional qualities

  • Anti-infective qualities

  • Physical qualities

  • Psychological qualities

Nutritional Qualities

  • Nutritionally complete for the first 6 months of life

  • Ensures adequate infant growth

Anti-infective Qualities

  • Provides anti-bodies

  • Enhances baby’s immune system

  • Protection from:

    • Gastrointestinal illnesses

    • Respiratory infections

    • Ear infections

    • Some childhood cancers

Physical Qualities

  • Improved visual development

  • Higher IQ

  • Protection from:

    • Diabetes

    • Obesity

    • SIDS

  • Easier to digest

Psychological Qualities

  • Strong maternal/infant bonding

  • Greater chance of child developing a secure attachment to mother

  • Baby’s needs can be met quickly (builds trust)


  • Physical qualities

  • Psychological qualities

Physical Qualities

  • Protection from:

    • Pre-menopausal Breast and Ovarian cancer

    • Hemorrhage

    • Osteoporosis

  • Helps weight loss

Psychological Qualities

  • Empowering

  • Food for baby always available

  • Low cost

  • “Mothering Hormones”

How Milk Is NOT Made!!!


The Action of Breastfeeding

The Action of Bottle Feeding

How Milk Is Made

Community Resources

  • Public Health

  • Lactation Consultants

  • Baby Weigh In

  • As Parent And Baby Grow

  • Mother Nurture


  • Riordan & Auerbach Breastfeeding and Human Lactation

  • The Breastfeeding Atlas - lactpress 2002

  • Health canada 2002

  • Www.Breastfeedingniagara.Com

  • Breastfeeding Committee for Canada

  • Http://www.Breastfeedingbasics.Org/cgi-bin/deliver.Cgi/content/anatomy/str_internal.html

  • La Leche League Canada

  • Palmer, B. (2001). Otitis Media: An anatomical perspective


  • Best Start

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