Baby Friendly Initiative

Last modified: 
Thu, 09/07/2017 - 15:48

The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) was initiated internationally by the World Health Organization. BFI is an integrated approach for hospitals and community health services that uses 10 steps (based on the best evidence) to support the best maternal-child health for all mothers and babies. All of the provinces and territories are working towards this internationally recognized maternal-child health strategy.

NTHSSA Stanton Territorial Hospital and Yellowknife Region received Baby-Friendly Certificates of Participation in June 2014, and are in the process of working towards BFI accreditation.

  • The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) supports the best nutrition for babies, mothers and families.
  • In Aboriginal communities, BFI can help revitalize traditional teachings of women, as breastfeeding has long been a traditional practice.
  • Breastfeeding creates a strong mother-baby bond as well as many other health, social and economic benefits - breastfeeding is the least expensive way of feeding babies.
  • Our health and social services authorities are working towards BFI in order to best promote the health of mothers and babies.
  • Currently there are no Baby Friendly Initiative designated facilities in the NWT. Applying for BFI Designation usually takes 3 - 5 years and needs the support of the community and other organizations to get this designation. The designation signals that a hospital or health care facility wants the best for all babies. The first step of BFI Designation is a Certificate of Participation.
  • Being a Baby Friendly Accredited organization has been shown world-wide to increase the number of women who choose to breastfeed.
  • The Katnesatake Health Centre has found that the journey to become Baby-Friendly has a healing potential for women, families and the whole community and that the process allows the blending of traditional ways of knowing with research on what is best for moms and babies. On August 6, 2013, the Kanesatake Health Centre, Quebec, became the first aboriginal health centre in North America to receive this recognition.