Baby-Friendly Designated Hospital

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. (BFUSA) is the accrediting body and national authority for the BFHI in the United States. BFUSA is responsible for coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly® designation. These are the basic tenets of BFUSA’s philosophy and approach:

1. Human milk fed through direct breastfeeding is the optimal way for human infants to be nurtured and nourished.

There is no question that breastfeeding is the optimal feeding and caring method for the health of both, the baby and the mother. An abundance of scientific evidence concludes that mothers and babies who breastfeed experience improved health outcomes and lower risks for certain diseases. Breastfeeding is the natural biological conclusion to pregnancy and an important mechanism in the natural development of the infant.

2. The precious first days in the birth facility should be protected as a time of bonding and support not influenced by commercial interests.

Hospitals and birthing centers wield enormous influence over the first days of life and play a critical role in determining breastfeeding success. Before the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative began to take hold across the US, commercial interests significantly influenced infant feeding practices in ways that undermined breastfeeding. Baby-Friendly facilities are centers of support in which evidenced-based care is provided, education is free from commercial interests, all infant feeding options are possible, and individual preferences are respected.

3. Every mother should be informed about the importance of breastfeeding and respected to make her own decision.

We aim to ensure that every mother is fully informed of the importance of breastfeeding and to the help she needs to achieve her breastfeeding goal. We respect that breastfeeding is not possible for some families in certain situations, that supplementation is sometimes medically appropriate, and that some mothers will decide not to breastfeed. Every mother has the right to evidence-based information, free from commercial interests to help her decide how to feed her baby and should be equally supported and treated with dignity and respect for her infant feeding decision.

For more information, visit the Baby-Friendly USA Website.