Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI)

What is the Baby-Friendly Initiative? The Baby-Friendly Initiative acknowledges that breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for mothers and infants, 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 (PDF 27KB) that organizations need to follow to become designated as "Baby-Friendly" 
  • Requires compliance with the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions.

All Health Units in Ontario have been mandated to implement the Baby-Friendly Initiative. Other health care organizations (eg. Hospitals, community health centres, family health teams) in the province are also being encouraged and supported to adopt these best practices for prenatal and postpartum care. Middlesex-London Health Unit was formally designated as Baby-Friendly in December 2015.


Where can I get more information?


BFI Poster

Baby-Friendly Initiative Poster

View, download and print the
Baby-Friendly Initiative Poster
(PDF 1MB).


Breastfeeding Supports

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

  • Prenatal breastfeeding classes
  • Telephone support
  • Breastfeeding appointments
  • Infant Growth/Development and Breastfeeding Drop-ins 
  • Breastfeeding videos

In Canada, Baby-Friendly designation is awarded by the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) when a health care organization meets the following 10 steps:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy
  2. Ensure all staff have the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the breastfeeding policy
  3. Inform pregnant women and their families about the importance and process of breastfeeding
  4. Place baby skin-to-skin with their mothers immediately after birth for at least an hour or until after the first feeding or as long as the mother wishes
  5. Assist mothers to breastfeed even if they are separated from their baby
  6. Support mothers to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months, unless supplements are medically indicated.Help mothers and infants stay together
  7. Encourage baby-led breastfeeding
  8. Encourage sustained breastfeeding beyond six months with the appropriate introduction of solid foods
  9. Support mothers to feed and care for their breastfeeding babies without using artificial nipples or pacifiers
  10. Provide a seamless transition between the hospital, community health services, and peer support programs 1
Date of creation: December 3, 2012
Last modified on: January 26, 2016


1Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. (2012). Integrated 10 Steps & WHO Code practice outcome indicators for hospitals and community health services: Summary Retrieved from