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Baby-Friendly Initiative to Support and Encourage Breastfeeding

This page was reviewed or revised on Thursday, March 20, 2014 11:47 AM

How you feed your baby is one of the most important decisions you'll make to give your baby a healthy start. Here you will find important information to help you make an informed decision about breastfeeding.

Baby-Friendly Lambton

Lambton Public Health strives to support and promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months. After 6 months, breastfeeding should continue for 2 years or more; babies should be given other foods. You are always welcome to breastfeed at the Lambton Public Health facility.

Lambton Public Health nurses have the knowledge and skills to help you learn how to breastfeed. For more information or help, call 519-383-8331 or toll free 1-800-667-1839.

What is the Baby-Friendly Initiative?

The Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) was started to encourage mothers to breastfeed. Baby-Friendly practices help protect, promote and support breastfeeding. While BFI promotes breastfeeding, the initiative provides the same care and services to those who choose to bottle feed as well.

More Baby-Friendly locations are necessary because:

  • Breastfeeding helps mom and baby become as healthy as possible.
  • More mothers are deciding to breastfeed their babies.
  • Many mothers continue to breastfeed for months, or even years. BFI locations make breastfeeding more convenient for mothers and allow them to continue doing so even longer.
  • The BFI get you the right information to help get breastfeeding off to a good start.

Baby-Friendly practices to help you breastfeed

  • Sharing the fact you are breastfeeding allows others to offer support.
  • You can learn about breastfeeding before your baby is born by attending prenatal classes.
  • Right after birth, ask to have your baby placed on your 'tummy' for skin-to-skin contact as much as possible. Babies learn to breastfeed by touch and smell.
  • Breastfeeding helps to keep you and your baby calm. Hold your baby skin-to-skin as often, and as long as you want.
  • You can breastfeed right away. Your baby is awake and ready to learn right after birth. This will help to make milk.
  • Have your baby in your hospital room with you so you can see how often and when your baby asks to be fed.
  • Breastfeed often. In the first month, most babies will feed at least 8 times a day. There are no set times to feed, just whenever your baby is hungry.
  • For the first six months, feed your baby only breastmilk. Other fluids may reduce the amount of milk your breasts make.
  • Avoid soothers or bottles. Giving a soother or bottle too early may cause your baby to have problems breastfeeding and make breastfeeding painful.
  • If you decide to use soothers or bottles, wait until your baby has learned to breastfeed well. This usually takes 4-6 weeks.
  • Many people need help when breastfeeding.
  • Talk with your health-care provider or public health nurse to help you get off to a good start. If you are having breastfeeding problems ask for help right away.
  • Celebrate your successes, and share them with others.

Support the Baby-Friendly Initiative

Ask your health-care provider to support Baby-Friendly practices to help you:

  • Make the feeding choice that is right for you.
  • Get breastfeeding off to a good start.
  • Continue breastfeeding for as long as you want.

World Health Organization

We comply with the World Health Organization (WHO/UNICEF) International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

1. Aim
To “contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants" by:

  • Protecting and promoting breastfeeding
  • Ensuring the proper use of breastmilk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution.”

2. Scope
Applies to:

  • Breastmilk substitutes (including infant formula), other milk products, foods and beverages, when marketed or otherwise represented as a partial or total replacement for breastmilk.
  • Feeding bottles and nipples. Their quality, availability, and information concerning their use.

3. Advertising
No advertising of above products to the public.

4. Samples
No free samples to mothers, their families, or health-care workers.

5. Facilities of health-care system

  • No promotion of the above products. i.e., no product displays, posters, or distribution of promotional materials.
  • No use of nurses or personnel who are paid for by companies that sell these products.
  • The “health-care system” does not include pharmacies or other established sales outlets.

6. Health-care workers
Accept no gifts or samples.

7. Supplies
No free or low-cost supplies of breastmilk substitutes accepted for distribution in our facilities.

8. Information
Informational and educational materials explain:

  • Benefits of breastfeeding
  • Health hazards associated with bottle-feeding
  • Costs of using infant formula
  • Factual and scientific product information

9. Labels
Products that may be used for demonstration purposes are clearly labelled with the following information:

  • Superiority of breastfeeding.
  • Use only on the advice of a health-care worker.
  • Instructions for the proper preparation.
  • Warnings about the health hazards of improper preparation.
  • No pictures of infants, or other pictures or text idealizing the use of infant formula.

10. Products
Unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, are not promoted for babies. All products are of a high-recognized standard.

11. Exclusive breastfeeding
We promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for six (6) months as a global public health recommendation with continued breastfeeding for up to two (2) years of age and beyond.

12. Complementary feeding
We encourage appropriate complementary feeding from the age of six (6) months recognizing that any food or drink given before complementary feeding is nutritionally required, may interfere with initiation or maintenance of breastfeeding.

13. Marketing
In our facility we ensure that complementary foods are not marketed for or used in ways that undermine exclusive and sustained breastfeeding.

14. Sponsorship
We are accept no financial assistance from the infant feeding industry as this may interfere with professionals’ unequivocal support for breastfeeding.

Adapted from the BCC Integrated 10 Steps Practice Outcome Indicators for Hospitals and Community Health Services, 2012