Submitted on Behalf of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM)
Dr Felicity Savage, FABM, Chair of WABA.
Dr Rukhsana Haider, FABM, Co-Chair of WABA.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched in 1991 by WHO and UNICEF, with the aim of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding in maternity facilities worldwide. To be designated “Baby-Friendly”, facilities are required to follow the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
Since 1991, great progress has been made, and 20,000 maternity facilities world-wide have been designated Baby-Friendly. However, in the last decade, progress has slowed down, and the total number of designated facilities still represents less than one third of all maternities in the world. Also it has been difficult to maintain the necessary standards as the BFHI assessment procedure often lies outside normal hospital accreditation processes.
The 25th Anniversary of the launch of the BFHI seemed an appropriate time to review progress and consider the need for the development of revised or new guidelines. Read the rest of this entry »