Baby Friendly Hospitals
By Kidspot Team |

The Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative (BFHI) aims to improve exclusive breastfeeding rates and ensure evidenced-based best practice standards of care in maternity services. Baby Friendly facilities work to see that all women receive appropriate advice and support. For the women who choose not to breastfeed BFHI requires that they are provided with unbiased information and advice and are supported in their decision.

BFHI is a quality tool which establishes standards of care and then services are audited on these for accreditation. Accreditation is for three years.

In New Zealand all maternity services are required to achieve and maintain Baby Friendly Hospital accreditation. Nearly all services have achieved accreditation and 99.85% of infants born in maternity services are delivered in BFHI accredited facilities.

You can ask to see your maternity service providers breastfeeding policy. This will let you know what help and support you can expect from them.

Baby Friendly Hospitals do not accept free or low cost breastmilk substitutes, feeding bottles or teats and implement the following ten steps to support successful breastfeeding:

  •  Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff

  • Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy

  • Inform all pregnany women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding

  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one half-hour of birth

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

  • Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated

  • Practice rooming in - that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day

  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand

  • Give no articifical teats or pacificers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infant


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