top of page

The Baby-Friendly Initiative

10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

A World Health Organization & UNICEF Initiative

Happy family concept. Breast feeding new

A WHO & UNICEF Initiative

Penticton Regional Hospital, Penticton Health Centre, and the Penticton Indian Band Health Department are excited to be working together to achieve the BFI best practices designation. This means that families will be supported to achieve their infant feeding goals though consistent policy and quality support. An important step in the baby-friendly process is Step 10 - which details how the health care facilities and the community agencies and volunteer groups work together to support breastfeeding. Ok Breastfeeding is proud to be participating as members of the various committees to support this project. Our contribution ensures that families voices are heard as we all work towards supporting families in the best way possible. 

October 14, 2018. Media Release from the Public Health Agency of Canada "Research demonstrates that breastfeeding gives babies a healthy start by providing optimal nutrition, boosting their immune systems, and nurturing an emotional bond between mother and baby. The Government of Canada supports breastfeeding to promote better nutrition and overall maternal and child health.

The goal of the BFI is to promote maternal and infant health in Canada by increasing breastfeeding rates across the country. It aims to ensure that mothers and their infants receive the highest quality of family-centred care, whether they choose to breastfeed or not.

Originally launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund in 1991, the BFI is an evidence-based initiative that has proven to be effective for increasing breastfeeding rates and increasing the likelihood that babies will be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. It has since been updated and modified to reflect the Canadian context."

Quick facts

  • Breastfeeding is an important, globally recognized indicator of maternal and infant health, associated with significant health benefits for both the mother and infant.

  • In Canada, there are currently 19 BFI-designated hospitals and 127 BFI-designated community centres across the country.

  • Facilities designated as Baby-Friendly must have a breastfeeding policy in place, provide training to all staff to implement the policy, and put into practice key steps that have been shown to promote the health of newborns and mothers.

  • In addition to supporting the BFI, the Public Health Agency of Canada has been updating the Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care: National Guidelines. These guidelines are a key resource on maternal and newborn health and include the latest information and advice from Canadian experts. The chapter on breastfeeding has recently been updated and provides evidence-based guidance on protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding."

Associated links

Learn more about the BFI

This poster from the WHO shows the 10 steps that are important for successful breastfeeding.

7 min video from Breastfeeding Strategy for Ontario

BC Women's Hospital is currently the only hospital in BC to have been awarded the 'Baby-Friendly' designation. See what they say about how BFI supports all families.

bottom of page