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.