Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI)
We will support families in making an informed decision about infant feeding. All families will be supported no matter how they decide to feed their baby.
We promise to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
We will support Health Canada's guidelines to:
- Recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life
- Support continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond with the addition of age-appropriate family foods at six months
We will follow the World Health Organization's International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes to protect families and staff from the commercial pressures of formula advertising.
We will work with community partners to provide a consistent message.
Our Baby-Friendly Initiative policy is available upon request. All staff are familiar with this policy.
All mothers are welcome to breastfeed anytime, anywhere. If privacy is needed, we will find you a space.
The Baby-Friendly Initiative:
- Is a global, evidence-based initiative for hospitals and community-based health organizations.
- Provides 10 steps organizations need to follow to become designated as "Baby-Friendly."
- Requires compliance with the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions.
How you feed your baby will be one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. The information below can help you make an informed decision.
Breastmilk will help protect your baby from:
- Ear infections, coughs and colds
- Stomach and gut upsets
- SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
- Being overweight or obese
- Some childhood cancers
Breastfeeding will help protect you from:
- Breast and ovarian cancer
- Heavy bleeding after you have your baby
- Is free
- Promotes closeness and bonding of mom and baby
- Reduces health care costs for your family and society
- Is environmentally friendly
- Does not change to meet your baby's growing needs
- Does not protect your baby from infections and diarrhea
- Is not sterile (powdered form)
- Is expensive
Challenges with infant formula include:
- Extra time is needed to sterilize equipment
- Mistakes can be made during preparation
Skin-to-skin: the healthiest place to begin
All babies benefit from skin-to-skin. Placing your newborn baby on your bare chest is recommended right after birth for at least an hour, or until completion of the first feeding, or for as long as you wish.
Skin-to-skin is easy. Here’s how to do it:
- Take off your baby's blankets and clothing; leave the diaper on.
- Move clothing away from your chest.
- Hold your baby, facing you, against your chest.
- You can put a blanket over you and your baby.
- Enjoy the closeness and bonding with your baby.
With skin-to-skin, your baby:
- Breastfeeds easier.
- Cries less and is calmer.
- Stays warmer.
- Enjoys more comfort from you.
- Has better blood sugar levels and heart rate.
- Is protected by some of your good bacteria.
With skin-to-skin, you:
- Breastfeed more easily.
- Create more breast milk.
- Learn when your baby is getting hungry.
- Bond more with your baby.
- Gain confidence and satisfaction caring for your baby.
- Are more relaxed.
As babies grow:
- Skin-to-skin is great after birth but it doesn’t have to stop there.
- Babies love skin-to-skin contact with either mom or dad as they grow older.
- It is soothing to them and helps them feel secure.
- Skin-to-skin also helps baby cope with painful procedures such as vaccination.
- Stay together with your baby by sharing your bedroom (‘rooming in’) for at least the first six months.