Expand the number of “baby-friendly” hospitals to promote access to breastmilk for newborns
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation based on the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding for Hospitals.
Breastfeeding has been shown to have many health benefits for infants, including reducing the risk of ear infections, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Moreover, it helps reduce infant mortality because it helps increase the likelihood of survival for premature infants. Research shows that infants born at facilities that provide recommended care for lactating mothers and babies, such as those that have incorporated the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, are more likely to initiate breastfeeding, exclusively breastfeed, and continue to do so for longer periods of time.