Baby Friendly Initiative - Hanover Family Health Team

Breastfeeding baby photo

Baby-Friendly Initiative – Our Promise to All Families

The Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) is an evidenced-based program of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It is supported by Health Canada, Canadian Pediatric Society, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, and Dietitians of Canada.

The Baby-Friendly Initiative supports best practice standards of care for all mothers, infants and their families. Baby Friendly Initiative Ontario VIDEO

Breastfeeding is the normal and unequalled method of feeding babies and is one of the most important contributors to infant health. Health Canada (2012) recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of age and continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond with introduction of appropriate solid foods. This is important for emotional and physical development, growth, immunologic protection and nutrition of infants and toddlers.

Children who are not breastfed and women who do not breastfeed are both at higher risk for negative health outcomes. Breastfeeding supports health and food security for the family and economic benefit for the health care system and the workplace.

BFI promotes, supports and protects breastfeeding families and also supports families in making informed feeding decisions that are best for them. All of our staff are educated in BFI best practices and support our patients in their infant feeding goals and to ensure that parents/care providers have up to date and evidenced based infant feeding resources. (Refer to “Our Promise to All Families,” and Infant Feeding section under the Patient Education heading).

We help families who are using infant formula when medically needed or by making an informed decision to choose what is acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe (AFAAS) and we educate on safe preparation, feeding and storage.

We have trained staff including our Physicians, Nurse Practioner, Registered Nurse, Registered Dietitian/International Board Certified Lactation Consultant available to provide infant feeding support, education and resources without marketing bias. As part of our commitment to working toward BFI, we collaborate with the Hanover Medical Associates, Hanover and District Hospital, Grey Bruce Midwives and our community partners including the Grey Bruce Health Unit and patient representative(s) in providing exceptional, seamless transition of care.

References and Articles:

A joint statement of Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, and Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Birth to Six months (2012) and Six to 24 months (2014).

Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (2018). Breastfeeding – Promoting and Supporting the Initiation, Exclusivity, and Continuation of Breastfeeding in Newborns, Infants and Young Children.

Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding. A Joint WHO/UNICEF Statement, Geneva, WHO, 1989.

Grey Bruce Midwives 

Hanover and District Hospital

Public Health Grey Bruce

BFI Ontario

The BCC’s BFI 10 Steps and WHO Code Outcome Indicators for Hospitals and Community Health Services. Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) 2004 (updated 2017)

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