Baby Friendly Initiative

Being Baby-Friendly means creating a supportive environment for infant feeding, regardless of the feeding method, through consistent services and messages.

What is the Baby-Friendly Initiative?

The Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) is a global campaign to protect, promote and support breastfeeding worldwide. It was created by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

The initiative consists of:

The Baby-Friendly Initiative recognizes that breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for infants, mothers, and families. This program awards Baby-Friendly designation to health care organizations that offer the best level of care to families in regard to infant feeding.

A health care organization that receives Baby-Friendly designation is known to encourage and help women to successfully breastfeed their babies. Baby-Friendly facilities educate and support pregnant women and their families to make informed infant feeding decisions.

Baby-Friendly & the Woolwich Community Health Centre

WCHC was designed as a “Baby-Friendly” Community Health Facility on April 27, 2017. As a “Baby Friendly” organization:

  • We promote breastfeeding as the normal way of feeding a baby.
  • We are committed to educating families about the importance of breastfeeding and how to breastfeed their children.
  • We protect breastfeeding by allowing no advertising of formula, artificial nipples or bottles to mothers and their families.
  • We do not distribute formula, artificial nipples or bottles to the families that we serve.
  • We support all babies regardless of how they are fed.

Copies of our full Breastfeeding Policy are available upon request.

Helpful Breastfeeding Links:

  1. Breastfeeding Support in Waterloo Region
  2. Helpful Breastfeeding Booklets – free to download:
  3. Hand Expression of Breastmilk: Video (Stanford Medicine)
  4. Making an Informed Choice about Feeding Your Baby
  5. International Breastfeeding Centre :Videos and more (Dr. Jack Newman)
  6. New Dad Manual: 24 hour Cribside Assistance Site for Dads
  7. Tips for soothing your baby without a pacifier:
    • Breastfeed to satisfy hunger and the need to suck
    • Hold your baby skin-to-skin
    • Try holding your baby in different positions
    • Rock or walk with your baby
    • Reduce stimulation (e.g. dim lights, reduce noise, limit the number of people)
    • Talk, sing or read to your baby
    • Use “white noise” such as making a “shhh” sound with your voice or running a vacuum cleaner

Rights of the Breastfeeding Mother

You have rights as a breastfeeding mother, including the right to breastfeed a child in a public area. No one should prevent you from breastfeeding your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to “cover up,” disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more “discreet.”

Source: Ontario Human Rights Commission

The WHO Global Infant Feeding Recommendation:

As stated in the Global strategy on infant and young child feeding (pdf, 192kb) (WHA55 (WHA55 A55/15, paragraph 10):

Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed1 for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health2.

Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production.