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The Baby-Friendly Initiative

What is the Baby-Friendly Initiative?

In 1991 the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) created the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI). This global campaign aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. BFI requires that all families, regardless of feeding method, are supported to feed their children in safe and nurturing ways.

In June 2015, Durham Region Health Department was designated as a "Baby-Friendly" facility by the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC). Read more...

What are the standards for becoming Baby-Friendly?woman with baby

The Baby-Friendly Initiative helps mothers/families to:

  • Make an informed decision on how they will feed their baby
  • Breastfeed with confidence right from the start by knowing what to expect and planning ahead
  • Get a good start to breastfeeding
  • Feel supported as they continue to breastfeed their baby 

Other Baby-Friendly Initiative Resources

Why is breastfeeding important?

  • Breast milk is the natural food for newborns. It contains everything a baby needs
  • Everyone benefits from breastfeeding including: mothers, babies, families and our community

What does Health Canada recommend about infant feeding?

  • Babies receive only breast milk for the first six months of life
  • Around six months, babies should be introduced to solid foods with continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond

For more information about infant feeding:

For information about human milk banks: