Top Left Logo
Baby-Friendly Initiative Healthy People, Healthy Communities
Skip Navigation Links
For Health Professionals
Contact Us

Spacer Spacer Spacer Spacer
kids running
Index      Small Text Medium Text Large Text  

Breastfeeding Task Force (Hospital)

Baby breastfeedingBreastfeeding is an important, globally-recognized indicator of maternal child health. While most Canadian families initiate breastfeeding, at 90 per cent, many stop within the first weeks or month(s), and only a third meet the global target of breastfeeding exclusively to six months. 

The Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI), launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF in 1991, is an evidence-based international initiative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. More recently, these organizations released an implementation guidance document to help scale-up the implementation of this initiative globally.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial government and the Regional Health Authorities have committed to improving breastfeeding initiation and duration as a means to improve overall population health and reduce chronic disease.
Our Commitment 

As an organization, we are committed to improving breastfeeding initiation and duration rates. To support that commitment, Eastern Health has a regional Baby-Friendly Initiative committee comprised of leadership across the organization, along with teams at each birthing site and within the Public Health program. 

In our effort to build Healthy People, Healthy Communities, we will use the evidence-based approach of the 10 STEPS of Baby-Friendly to increase breastfeeding initiation, exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months and breastfeeding to 2 years and beyond. These key indicators for improving the health of the population have been identified in Eastern Health’s Strategic Plan for 2017-20, Lighting the Way: Navigating Together
Health Sciences Centre Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) Team
The main purpose of the Health Sciences Centre - Baby-Friendly Initiative team is to prepare the Health Science Centre to become one of 25 Canadian hospitals to receive the Baby-Friendly Designation in 2021, as outlined by the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada.
  • Engage in activities that have a positive impact on increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration rates.
  • Examine current practices at sites regarding the 10 STEPS of Baby-Friendly.
  • Compile and review relevant reports and assessments.
  • Develop documents identifying strengths and gaps for various Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) teams around the 10 STEPS of Baby-Friendly.
  • Prioritize work through the 10 STEPS of Baby-Friendly at the site or community level. 
  • Establish working groups to complete action items.
  • Empower acute care site and public health Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) teams to collaborate within and between sites.
  • Increase collaboration and foster partnerships across sites and programs to support an organizational approach to breastfeeding. 
  • Report quarterly and annually to the Regional Baby-Friendly Initiative Committee.
  • Work towards the Baby-Friendly Designation using the guidelines developed by the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. 
Related Links


Updated Oct 20, 2020