Scaling-up the Implementation of the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) Across Canada – Sharing our Success Stories!

Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH) has begun the application for accreditation by the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada to become a Baby Friendly hospital. PRH was an active participant in the National Baby Friendly Initiative Quality Improvement collaborative project. Focusing on changing the culture of the perinatal care providers to incorporate best practice with the goal of meeting standards of care set out by the World health Organization 10 steps to Baby Friendly. PRH has seen a significant increase in supporting skin to skin, breastfeeding, and rooming in, allowing for alignment with family centered care and family goals. A slow shift in culture has allowed for a recognition in the importance of supporting new families in their bonding and feeding journey. Working towards the Baby Friendly designation has allowed PRH to be a leader in advocating for system wide practice changes and the implementation of policy and guidelines to support infant feeding, staff support when returning to work after maternity leave and family togetherness. Baby Friendly Initiative work is being done in collaboration with Penticton Health Centre and the Penticton Indian Band Health Centre noting the significant impact of the pandemic, increase in birthing census, staffing changes and staffing shortages throughout the process.

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