The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It is a best practice, research based initiative that ensures that families are given all the necessary information to make an informed decision about infant feeding. It also ensures that mothers and their families are able to give their babies the best possible start to life.
The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada is the national authority for BFI and outlines 10 indicators that organizations must implement in order to be designated Baby Friendly.
With support from community partners, the Timiskaming Health Unit has achieved Baby-Friendly Initiative (“BFI”) status. This means that the Health Unit provides high standards of care for pregnant women and their families by:
- Welcoming all families
- Providing all families with information about feeding their babies
- Promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continued for up to two years or longer with the addition of other foods
- Welcoming breastfeeding anywhere, anytime
- Making sure staff have up-to-date breastfeeding training
- Working with our community to support breastfeeding
The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
If you’re a business owner or employee who would like to create a supportive feeding environment for families please call 705-647-4305 ext 2246. This could include staff education or drafting a breastfeeding policy for staff returning to work following their parental leave.
Baby Friendly Initiative is important because:
- It ensures consistent and accurate information for parents
- Protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding as the normal way to feed infants
- Allows for skilled help with breastfeeding
- Supports all families, regardless of their feeding method
More general information on becoming baby-friendly:
Our Baby Friendly Promise:
- Welcome all families.
- Assist parents to make informed decisions about infant feeding.
- Provide a comfortable atmosphere for breastfeeding.
- Support Health Canada guidelines to:
- recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months
- promote breastfeeding for up to two years & beyond with the addition of other foods
- Ensure our staff receives up to date breastfeeding training.
- Work with other community groups to provide consistent care & support.
(Click here to view PDF version of THU's Public BFI Policy).
Learn more about Baby Friendly Initiative.