breastfeeding motherIn Queensland, Australia, the BFHI (Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative) gives accreditation to hospitals and health care facilities that meet certain criteria. A recent review of breastfeeding rates at one and four months postpartum in mothers who gave birth at BFHI hospitals reveals the initiative has little impact on overall breastfeeding rates.

BFHI hospitals have four interventions in place to promote early and on-going breastfeeding- skin-to-skin contact, rooming-in, first hour breastfeeding and refusal of in-hospital formula supplementation. Mothers who came in contact with all four interventions were more apt to be breastfeeding at one and four months postpartum, but just one missing intervention reduced breastfeeding numbers to number equal to or below non-accredited hospitals.

Conclusion: The BFHI program does not increase the likelihood mothers will be breastfeeding at one and/or four months postpartum. Overall initial breastfeeding rates leaned toward non-accredited hospitals when all contributing factors were taken into consideration.

Source: Brodribb W, Kruske S, Miller YD. Baby-Friendly Hospital Accreditation, In-Hospital Care Practices, and Breastfeeding. Pediatrics. 2013 Mar 11.