In Canada, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is overseen by the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada.
The BFHI is a global program initiated in 1991 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in response to the Innocenti Declaration (1990). This program encourages and recognizes hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for mothers and infants. A Baby-Friendly hospital focuses on the needs of the newborns and helps mothers and families to give their infant the best possible start in life. This means that a Baby-Friendly hospital encourages and helps women to successfully initiate and continue to breastfeed their babies and therefore receives special recognition for having done so. Since the start of the BFHI initiative, over 15,000 hospitals worldwide have received the Baby–Friendly designation.
In 2002, the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada provided guidelines for community health care services to achieve designation. The initiative is generally referred to as the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI).
For Hospitals and Community Health facilities working on the Baby- Friendly Initiative, expertise is available to support facilities one-to-one at any point along the BFI journey. To find out more email .