The Problem: Many health facilities and professionals are not delivering optimal breastfeeding promotion and support for mothers, families, and newborns.
The Solution: National Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) implementation can strengthen health worker practices, increase rates of optimal breastfeeding, and improve health, social, and economic outcomes for individuals and nations.
The BFHI has been one of the most effective interventions to enable optimal breastfeeding practices across different countries and contexts. Launched globally by WHO and UNICEF in 1991, the BFHI promotes improved policies and procedures in maternity facilities to support mothers to initiate breastfeeding in the first hour of life and obtain the skills to continue breastfeeding after discharge.
The BFHI is based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (the Ten Steps) and recognizes the role that maternity and newborn facilities have in providing mothers with skills and support for successful breastfeeding.