Baby Friendly accreditation is a quality assurance measure that demonstrates the commitment of a Community Health Service (CHS) to offer the highest standard of care to mothers and infants. Attaining accreditation signifies that the service is committed to evidence-based, best-practice care and ensuring that every mother is supported with her informed choice of infant feeding.
In a Baby Friendly CHS, a mother’s informed choice of infant feeding is encouraged, respected, and supported. At no time are mothers ‘forced’ to breastfeed. The Seven Point Plan is adapted from the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding specifically to compliment Community Health Services. It is beneficial for all mothers and babies, promoting parental responsiveness, empowerment, and informed choice – regardless of feeding method.
In a Baby Friendly service, clients are given consistent, accurate information and support. In many cases this results in the duration of breastfeeding being extended.
Mothers who choose to artificially feed their babies, or who are required to supplement with or switch to infant formula, are given individual support and information to help them correctly prepare feeds and to ensure that they know how to feed their babies safely.
The Seven Points work synergistically and so therefore are implemented in unison, to ensure benefits for mothers and infants.