Overview

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative: Supporting Moms With Their breastfeeding Goals

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative: Supporting Moms With Their breastfeeding Goals

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) helps hospitals give breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills they need to successfully start and continue breastfeeding their babies.

It is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This program encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer the highest level of care for lactation.

University of Utah Hospital is the only Baby Friendly Designated Hospital in the state of Utah. Nationwide, there are currently 447 hospitals and birthing centers that hold this prestigious designation.

Breastfeeding & Baby Friendly Care

As a Baby Friendly facility, University of Utah Hospital has created the best possible environment for successful breastfeeding. Evidence shows that breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months—in other words, only using breastmilk to feed your baby until she's six months old—is the goal. But any amount of breastfeeding/breastmilk will offset the risks of using formula products to feed an infant.

Since committing to the Baby Friendly initiative in 2003, our women’s and children’s staff, nurses, and physicians have dedicated themselves to offering support and resources to our breastfeeding families, both in and out of the hospital. Find lactation rooms at University of Utah Health locations.

Breastfeeding Guidelines

Our labor and delivery staff uses guidelines from the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding to provide Baby Friendly care to our patients:

  1. Maintain a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills they need to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers start breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in: Let mothers and infants stay together 24 hours a day. (For infants who must stay in the late pre-term nursery, we offer twilight rooms so that mothers can still breastfeed their infants.)
  8. Encourage unrestricted feedings.
  9. Do not give pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Help establish breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them when they leave the hospital or clinic.

Breastfeeding Positions

Preparing for your delivery can be stressful for expecting parents. Watch our virtual tour of University of Utah Hospital so you can learn about the services and amenities we offer to make your big day more comfortable