Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI)

Baby Friendly: it just makes senseBFHI Logo

What is the Baby Friendly Health Initiative?

The role of BFHI is to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. It does this by providing a framework for Baby Friendly hospitals to operate within called the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and in community facilities this is called the 7 Point Plan. These standards ensure all mothers and babies receive appropriate support and contemporary information in both the antenatal and postnatal period regarding infant feeding.

In a Baby Friendly accredited facility, breastfeeding is encouraged, supported and promoted. Breastfed babies are not given breastmilk substitutes (infant formula), dummies or teats unless medically indicated or it is the parents' informed choice.

Check out this success story to read about the first community facility in NSW to be designated 'Baby Friendly'.

Regardless of feeding choices and circumstances, every woman is supported to care for her baby in the best and safest way possible.

History of BFHI in Australia

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF in 1990 and since then has been successfully introduced into over 15,000 facilities in 134 countries, including Australia in 1993.

UNICEF passed governance of BFHI within Australia to us (Australian College of Midwives) in 1995, where it remains today. 

In Australia in 2006, the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative became the Baby Friendly Health Initiative in order to more accurately reflect the expansion of the initiative into community health facilities.

The BFHI Strategic Plan 2012-2017 outlines our focus areas of activity for BFHI in Australia.

BFHI Information Pack

Available free to assist you to prepare your facility for BFHI accreditation, click on the links below to access the information pack relevant to your facility type:

BFHI Information Pack for Hospitals - Maternity Facilities

BFHI Information Pack for Community Health Facilities

Is your local facility Baby Friendly?

View list of BFHI Accredited Facilities