In a Baby Friendly accredited facility, breastfeeding is encouraged and promoted. Breastfed babies are not given breastmilk substitutes unless medically indicated, or at the parents’ request. Regardless of feeding choices and circumstances, every woman is supported to care for her baby in the best way possible for them.
In a Baby Friendly facility, parents are given consistent, accurate information and assistance. For mothers who are breastfeeding, this can support longer breastfeeding duration. Mothers who make an informed decision to formula feed, or who are required to supplement with or switch to formula, are given individual support and information.
Ultimately, Baby Friendly accredited facilities provide you and your baby with the best care and support. If you choose an accredited facility you can expect:
- Factual and unbiased antenatal advice about caring for and feeding your baby, including the benefits of breastfeeding.
- Support to have skin-to-skin contact right after birth, and for at least an hour.
- Advice about the benefits of keeping your baby with you at all times (rooming-in).
- No exposure to advertising of formula, or free samples from manufacturers (as this is proven to undermine breastfeeding).
- If you choose to breastfeed, your baby will not be given formula unless there is a medical reason, and only with your consent.
- You’ll receive assistance breastfeeding in the first hours after your baby is born.
- You’ll be shown how to support your baby to latch, to ensure that feeding isn’t painful, and that they get enough.
- You’ll be shown how to express your milk by hand.
- If you choose to formula feed, you’ll be assisted with this and taught how to do safe bottle preparation.
- You will receive information about available supports in your local community, for once you leave hospital.