Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

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The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), also known as Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI), is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organization and UNICEF, launched in 1991[1][2] following the adoption of the Innocenti Declaration on breastfeeding promotion in 1990.[3] The initiative is a global effort for improving the role of maternity services to enable mothers to breastfeed babies for the best start in life. It aims at improving the care of pregnant women, mothers and newborns at health facilities that provide maternity services for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, in accordance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and many national government health agencies recommend that babies are breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life. Studies have shown that breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from serious illnesses, including gastroenteritis, asthma, eczema, and respiratory and ear infections.[4][5][6][7] Adults who were breastfed as babies may be less likely to develop risk factors for heart disease such as obesity and high blood pressure. There are benefits for mothers too: women who don't breastfeed have increased risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and hip fractures in later life.[8][9][10] The BFHI aims to increase the numbers of babies who are exclusively breastfed worldwide, a goal which the WHO estimates could contribute to avoiding over a million child deaths each year, and potentially many premature maternal deaths as well.[11] [12] [13]

Criteria[edit]

The criteria for a hospital's Baby Friendly accreditation include:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one half-hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.
  6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, not even sips of water, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in - that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

The program also restricts use by the hospital of free formula or other infant care aids provided by formula companies.

Since the program's inception, approximately 15,000 facilities in more than 152 countries have been inspected and accredited as "Baby-Friendly."[1][2]

National schemes[edit]

Canada[edit]

In Canada, the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick have mandated the implementation of the BFHI. In 2012, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in Ontario added BFI status to their progress indicators for Public Health Units thus requiring all Public Health Units in Ontario to begin implementation of BFI.[14] Other provinces and territories are implementing strategies at regional and local levels.[15] As of 2008, 18 health care facilities (9 hospitals & birthing centres and 9 community health services) had been designated "Baby-Friendly" across the country.[16]

Cuba[edit]

In Cuba, 49 of the country's 56 hospitals and maternity facilities have been designated as "baby-friendly". In the six years following the initiation of the BFHI program, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding at four months almost tripled - from 25 per cent in 1990 to 72 per cent in 1996.[1]

Sweden[edit]

Sweden is considered the global leader in terms of BFHI implementation: four years after the programme was introduced in 1993, all of the then 65 maternity centres in the country had been designated "baby-friendly".[17]

United Kingdom[edit]

The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative was launched in the United Kingdom in 1994.[18] The Initiative works with the National Health Service (NHS) to ensure a high standard of care for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and babies in hospitals and community health settings. The Baby Friendly Initiative accredits health-care facilities that adopt internationally recognised best practice standards for breastfeeding. During each stage of accreditation, the Initiative provides support as facilities implement standards relating to policies and procedures, staff education, effective auditing, educating pregnant women and mothers, and other relevant areas.

In 1998, its principles were extended to cover the work of community health-care services with the Seven Point Plan for the Promotion, Protection and Support of Breastfeeding in Community Health Care Settings.[18] In 2005, it introduced an accreditation programme for university departments responsible for midwifery, health visitor and public health nurse education. This ensures that newly qualified midwives and health visitors are equipped with the basic knowledge and skills they need to support breastfeeding effectively. The program's emphasis on applying the standards in post-natal and education settings makes it unique amongst the various Baby Friendly programmes in other countries.[citation needed]

There are now 52 Baby Friendly-accredited maternity hospitals in the UK and ten accredited community health-care providers.[citation needed] It has been estimated that if all babies were breastfed, over £35m would be saved by the NHS in England and Wales each year in treating gastroenteritis alone.[19] Despite this, breastfeeding rates in the UK are amongst the lowest in Europe: 78 per cent of babies born in the UK are breastfed at birth, falling to 63 per cent at one week. Only one in five babies still receives breastmilk at six months.[20] In 2009, the Department of Health awarded a total of £4 million to 40 Primary Care Trusts in areas with low rates of breastfeeding to support them in seeking Baby Friendly accreditation.[citation needed]

United States[edit]

The first hospitals verified as Baby-Friendly in the USA were on the Pacific coast. Among the earliest, if not the first US hospital to receive this designation was Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, in Kirkland, WA, which was certified in Sept 1996. All of these early adopters were able to achieve 100% breastfeeding initiation rates.[21] In New York City, the Harlem Hospital Center was the first hospital to receive the "Baby Friendly" certification granted by Baby-Friendly USA for the city in 2008.[22] In 2011, New York University Langone Medical Center became the second hospital to receive the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation in New York City.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c UNICEF. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Accessed 4 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b World Health Organization. Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative. Accessed 4 August 2011.
  3. ^ UNICEF. INNOCENTI DECLARATION on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding. Adopted at the WHO/UNICEF meeting on "Breastfeeding in the 1990s: A Global Initiative", held at the Spedale degli Innocenti, Florence, Italy, 30 July-1 August 1990.
  4. ^ "Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries". Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality. 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  5. ^ Greer, F. R.; Sicherer, S. H.; Burks, A. W. (1 January 2008). "Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary Restriction, Breastfeeding, Timing of Introduction of Complementary Foods, and Hydrolyzed Formulas". Pediatrics 121 (1): 183–191. doi:10.1542/peds.2007-3022. PMID 18166574. 
  6. ^ Mahr, Todd A. (November 1, 2008). "Effect of Breastfeeding on Lung Function in Childhood and Modulation by Maternal Asthma and Atopy". Pediatrics 122. doi:10.1542/peds.2008-2139H. 
  7. ^ "The effect of breastfeeding duration on lung function at age 10 years: a prospective birth cohort study". Thorax. 10 November 2008. doi:10.1136/thx.2008.101543. 
  8. ^ "Breastfeeding during infancy and the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood". Epidemiology 15 (5): 550–556. 1 September 2004. 
  9. ^ Richard M. Martin, David Gunnell and George Davey Smith (2005). Breastfeeding in Infancy and Blood Pressure in Later Life: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 161 (1). American Journal of Epidemiology. doi:10.1093/aje/kwh338. 
  10. ^ "World Cancer Research Fund". UK Baby Friendly Initiative. UNICEF. 2007. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  11. ^ World Health Organization. 10 facts on breastfeeding, accessed 20 April 2011.
  12. ^ Duration of lactation and risk factors for maternal cardiovascular disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384111
  13. ^ Cost analysis of Maternal Disease associated with suboptimal breastfeeding http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23743465
  14. ^ Technical Document:Public Health Accountability Agreement Indicators 2011-13 Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Public Health Division Health Promotion Division http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/performance/docs/technical_document.pdf
  15. ^ Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. BFI in Canada. Accessed 2 August 2011.
  16. ^ New Brunswick Department of Health. New Brunswick Provincial Report of the Baby-Friendly Self-Assessment Survey. March 2008.
  17. ^ Hofvander Y. "Breastfeeding and the Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative (BFHI): Organization, response and outcome in Sweden and other countries." Acta Paediatrica, 94(8): 1012–1016, August 2005. doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2005.tb02038.x
  18. ^ a b UNICEF UK. What is the Baby Friendly Initiative? Accessed 4 August 2011.
  19. ^ "Local Authority Approach". UK Baby Friendly Initiative. UNICEF. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  20. ^ "Infant Feeding Survey - 2005, Early results". Health & Social Care Information Centre. 2006-05-19. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  21. ^ "Breastfeeding Rates in US Baby-Friendly Hospitals: Results of a National Survey". Pediatrics 116 (3). September 2005. doi:10.1542/peds.2004-1636. 
  22. ^ "Baby-Friendly Harlem Hospital". HHC Today. July 2008. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  23. ^ "NYU Langone Medical Center Awarded Official Baby-Friendly USA Designation". NYU Langone Medical Center. 2011. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 

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