The Baby-Friendly Initiative is the primary strategy to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in the province. The Department of Health recognizes that breastfeeding is a key determinant in improving the health of New Brunswickers and strives to re-establish breastfeeding as the cultural norm.
While the foundation of the Baby Friendly Initiative is support for breastfeeding, the BFI practice standards improve the quality of care given to all mothers and babies by including evidence-based practices, such as skin to skin contact after birth and responsive, cue-based feeding. The initiative also ensures that families who are using infant formula, either alone or as a supplement to breastfeeding, are supported to do so safely.
Full implementation of the Baby-Friendly Initiative is associated with a significant increase in breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity rates. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of child health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and asthma which are highly prevalent in our population.
Each Regional Health Network in New Brunswick has active Baby-Friendly Committees that support individual facilities and community health services working towards obtaining Baby-Friendly designation.