Children's Hospitals

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Hospitals with Maternity Units

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BABY FRIENDLY HOSPITAL INITIATIVE

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global campaign launched by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation in 1991 at the meeting of the International Paediatric Association in Ankara.

Its aim is to support all mothers in their right to make an informed choice about how to feed their new-borns, and to promote early initiation of breastfeeding. To earn the Baby Friendly Hospital award facilities have to show that they have adopted and maintain certain practices to support successful breastfeeding. To date, approximately sixty-one (61) hospitals and birthing centres have qualified for this award in Switzerland.

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

  • All health-care staff members receive written guidelines regarding breastfeeding promotion.
  • Caregivers are regularly given the opportunity to participate in educational classes so to fulfil these guidelines.
  • All pregnant women are informed about the advantages and techniques of breastfeeding.
  • Mothers are assisted in breastfeeding their babies within the first half-hour after birth.
  • Mothers are shown how to successfully breastfeed if they have to be separated from their babies, e.g., mothers of premature, sick or handicapped babies receive special help to support breastfeeding at a later time.
  • Infants who are breastfed receive supplemental feedings only in cases where the mother's milk does not meet their needs.
  • Rooming-in is available to all mothers, i.e., mother and baby are given the opportunity to be together day and night.
  • Breastfeeding upon demand is encouraged, i.e., according to the baby's rhythm.
  • Pacifiers and bottles are not used in the first days after birth and later only when necessary.
  • Contact with breastfeeding groups, midwives, lactation consultants, counsellors for new parents (Mütter- und Väterberatung / Centre de Puéricultur) is made available upon leaving the hospital.