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Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNIFCEF. It was established in 1992 to encourage maternity facilities to become centres of breastfeeding support. It was introduced to Singapore in 2010 by Health Promotion Board (HPB) under the Association for Breastfeeding Advocacy Singapore (ABAS).

In collaboration with HPB and MOH, SGH began its journey towards being a Baby Friendly hospital in 2012. It involved providing new mothers with access to resources for enabling babies to be on total breastfeeding. The system and processes in the ward also had to change according to The BFHI Criteria.

A maternity facility can be designated ‘baby friendly” when it does not accept free or low cost breast milk substitutes, does not use feeding bottles or teats, and has implemented the Ten specific steps to support successful breastfeeding.

  1. Breastfeeding policy
  2. Training of health care staff in skills.
  3. Patient Education.
  4. Skin-to-skin-contact - initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.
  5. Lactation maintained even if separated from newborn.
  6. Newborn infants get no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Rooming-in- with mothers and infants - 24Hr a day.
  8. Breastfeeding on demand.
  9. No artificial teats or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Breastfeeding support groups.