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Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI)

You may have heard the term Baby-Friendly. The Baby-Friendly Initiative is an international program designed to:

  • Support all mothers and babies.
  • Increase the number of women who start breastfeeding.
  • Increase the length of time that women breastfeed.
  • Increase the number of women who offer only breastmilk to their baby in the first six months of the baby’s life.

Peterborough Public Health is committed to helping you:

  • Make an informed decision on how to feed your baby.
  • Be prepared with good knowledge about breastfeeding.
  • Feel supported as you continue to breastfeed your baby as long as you and your baby plan to breastfeed.


There are 10 Steps to becoming a Baby-Friendly organization:

Step 1: Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care providers and volunteers.

Step 2: Ensure all health care providers have the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the breastfeeding policy.

Step 3: Inform pregnant women and their families about the importance and process of breastfeeding.

Step 4: Place babies in uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately following birth for at least an hour or until completion of the first feeding or as long as the mother wishes. Encourage mothers to recognize when their babies are ready to feed, offering help as needed.

Step 5: Assist mothers to breastfeed and maintain lactation should they face challenges, including separation from their infants.

Step 6: Support mothers to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, unless supplements are medically indicated.

Step 7: Facilitate 24-hour rooming-in for all mother-infant dyads: mothers and infants remain together.

Step 8: Encourage baby-led or cue-based breastfeeding. Encourage sustained breastfeeding beyond six months with appropriate introduction of complementary foods.

Step 9: Support mothers to feed and care for their breastfeeding babies without the use of artificial teats or pacifiers (dummies or soothers).

Step 10: Provide a seamless transition between the services provided by the hospital, community health services and peer support programs.