In a Baby Friendly accredited facility, breastfeeding is encouraged, supported and promoted. Regardless of feeding choices and circumstances, every woman is supported to care for her baby in the best and safest way possible.


On this page, you will find information and responses to your questions about BFHI. Simply click on thBFHI Logoe links below to access information relevant to you:

What is the Baby Friendly Health Initiative?

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.

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 the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in hospitals, and the 7-Point Plan in community facilities. These standards, when implemented together, ensure all mothers and babies receive appropriate support and contemporary information in both the antenatal and postnatal period regarding infant feeding.

Check out this success story to read about the first community facility in NSW to be designated 'Baby Friendly', or consult our BFHI information packs, available from the bottom of this page, to learn more about BFHI.

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Why should you apply for BFHI accreditation?

BFHI is beneficial to all mothers and babies. BFHI promotes bonding, parental responsiveness, empowerment and informed choice, regardless of the feeding method.

Example BFHI Badge
BFHI Badge example - ACM Badges Terms & Conditions apply.

Getting BFHI accredited:

  • ensures regular independent assessment, and the framework and support to continuously improve
  • ensures that mothers themselves are heard when it comes to their experience of their care
  • draws attention to areas of excellence and can improve staff morale.
  • aids recruitment and retention of staff through increased professional development opportunities and increased job satisfaction, through its focus on education and training
  • ensures that the facility protects breastfeeding by adhering to the relevant provisions of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

View a list of current BFHI Accredited Facilities here (as of 1 May 2019)

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How long does it take to get accredited?

The BFHI timeline below provides an estimated timeframe for achieving BFHI accreditation. Click on the image to open up a larger version for easy viewing.

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How should you prepare and apply for your BFHI assessment?

Resources are available to assist you to understand the BFHI accreditation process and what you need to do to prepare your facility for BFHI accreditation. Accreditation fees vary based on your facility type and size and the number of BFHI assessors required to conduct your BFHI assessment. Once obtained, the BFHI accreditation is valid for 3 years. Click on the links below to access the information pack relevant to your facility type:

Additional BFHI resources are also available in the BFHI Library, including educational resources to use within your organisation, research, data and guidelines about infant feeding, as well as other tools and templates.

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What about Neo-BFHI for neonatal wards?

The ACM has not commenced a national implementation program of the Neo-BFHI at this stage, and this resource is provided for information purposes only. The College strongly encourages all midwives, neonatal nurses, health professionals and health administrators to consider how this program may be relevant to their facility and incorporate its elements into routine care.

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Contact us

If you have any questions about BFHI or the BFHI accreditation process, contact the BFHI Manager on 02 6230 7333 or at

You can also register you interest for the accreditation by completing this online form: the BFHI Manager will contact you to discuss the process and respond to your questions.

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