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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI)

The Baby-Friendly Initiative acknowledges that breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for infants and breastfeeding persons, and families need to be supported to make informed feeding decisions without the influence of formula marketing.


The Baby-Friendly Initiative:

  • Is a global, evidence-based approach that increases the health and well-being of all children and families,
  • Protects, promotes, and supports breastfeeding,
  • Is for hospitals and community-based health organizations,
  • Has 10 steps  that organizations need to follow to become designated as "Baby-Friendly", and
  • Requires compliance with the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions.

Breastfeeding Supports

We offer many types of breastfeeding supports for you and your baby. Learn more:


The Middlesex-London Health Unit believes breastfeeding is important and is committed to implementing Baby-Friendly best practices to support prenatal and postpartum persons in order to help them meet their infant feeding goals.

The Baby-Friendly Initiative best practices are outlined in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding1:

1.a. Comply with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions.

1.b. Have a written Infant Feeding Policy that is routinely communicated to all staff, pregnant women/persons, and parents.
1.c. Establish ongoing BFI monitoring and data-management systems.
2. Ensure that staff have the competencies (Knowledge, attitudes, and skills) necessary to support mothers/birthing parents to meet their infant feeding goals.
3. Discuss the importance and process of breastfeeding with pregnant women/persons, and their families.
4. Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact at birth. Support mothers/birthing parents to respond to the infant’s cues to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth.
5. Support mothers/parents to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and manage common difficulties.
6. Support mothers/parents to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, unless supplements are medically indicated.
7. Promote and support mother-infant togetherness.
8. Encourage responsive, cue-based feeding for infants. Encourage sustained breastfeeding beyond six months with appropriate introduction of complementary foods.
9. Discuss the use and effects of feeding bottles, artificial nipples, and pacifiers with parents.
10. Provide a seamless transition between the services provided by the hospital, community health services, and peer support programs.

 Where can I get more information?

  • Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC)
    The national authority for the Baby-Friendly Initiative is the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC). This website has a number of documents related to BFI, the Code, the designation process, and much more.
  • Health Canada
    Information about nutrition for healthy term infants can be found from Health Canada.
  • World Health Organization
    Recommendations for promoting proper feeding for infants and young children can be found from the World Health Organization.
Date of creation: December 3, 2012
Last modified on: August 29, 2023


1Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. (2021). Baby-Friendly Implementation Guideline. p.6 Retrieved from