The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It is a best practice, research based initiative that ensures that families are given all the necessary information to make an informed decision about infant feeding. It also ensures that mothers and their families are able to give their babies the best possible start to life.
The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada is the national authority for BFI and outlines 10 indicators that organizations must implement in order to be designated Baby Friendly.
With support from community partners, the Timiskaming Health Unit (THU) had achieved Baby-Friendly Initiative (“BFI”) status from 2017-2022. While THU decided to not renew our designation, we continue to prioritize and uphold the sentiment of the BFI Initiative. This means that the Health Unit continues to provide high standards of care for pregnant women and their families by offering our Breastfeeding Promise:
At THU, we are committed to protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding through our Breastfeeding Initiative.
We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where all families feel supported and empowered to breastfeed whether it be in our offices or public spaces.
We promise to:
- Welcoming all families
- Provide parents with the necessary information to make informed decisions about infant feeding.
- Foster a comfortable atmosphere for breastfeeding.
- Adhere to/Follow Health Canada guidelines, which:
- Recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.
- Promote breastfeeding for up to two years & beyond with the addition of other foods.
- Ensure our staff receives up-to-date breastfeeding training.
- Collaborate with other community groups to provide consistent care & support.
If you are a business owner or employee who would like to create a supportive feeding environment for families, please call 1-866-747-4305. Examples of support THU can provide may include staff education or drafting a breastfeeding policy for staff returning to work following their parental leave.
More general information on becoming baby-friendly: