Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)

What is BFHI?

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative ( BFHI ) was launched in 1991 by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to ensure that all maternity units become centers of breastfeeding support.

BFHI Accredited Hospitals in Singapore

Hospital Accredited with effect from:

National University Hospital (NUH)

August 2013

Singapore General Hospital (SGH)

April 2014

KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH)

May 2014

Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

December 2018

Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital

August 2019

Parkway East Hospital

October 2019

Gleneagles Hospital

October 2019

Raffles Hospital

October 2019

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

Critical management procedures:

1a. Comply fully with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly resolutions.

1b. Have a written infant feeding policy that is routinely communicated to staff and parents.

1c. Establish ongoing monitoring and data-management systems.

2. Ensure that staff have sufficient knowledge, competence and skills to support breastfeeding.

Key clinical practices:

3. Discuss the importance and management of breastfeeding with pregnant women and their families.

4. Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth.

5. Support mothers to initiate and maintain breastfeeding and manage common difficulties.

6. Do not provide breastfed newborns any food or fluids other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.

7. Enable mothers and their infants to remain together and to practise rooming-in 24 hours a day.

8. Support mothers to recognize and respond to their infants’ cues for feeding.

9. Counsel mothers on the use and risks of feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers.

10. Coordinate discharge so that parents and their infants have timely access to ongoing support and care.

There is substantial evidence that implementing the Ten Steps significantly improves breastfeeding rates. A systematic review of 58 studies on maternity and newborn care published in 2016 demonstrated clearly that adherence to the Ten Steps impacts early initiation of breastfeeding immediately after birth, exclusive breastfeeding and total duration of breastfeeding.