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Baby Friendly Health Facilities

Indicator Phrasing

% of target health facilities that are designated “baby friendly”
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of target health facilities that are designated “baby friendly”

French: % de centres de santé ciblés qui sont désignés comme «Amis des Bébés»

Spanish: % de centros de salud designados como "Amigos de los Niños".

Portuguese: % de instalações de saúde-alvo que são designadas "amigas do bebé"

Czech: % cílových zdravotních zařízení s „Baby Friendly“ statusem

What is its purpose?

The indicator assesses the proportion of the target health facilities which meet the minimum global (or locally adjusted) criteria for attaining the status of a “baby friendly health facility”.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Calculate the indicator’s value by counting the number of health facilities which meet the following global criteria or the country-specific criteria applied in your country of operation. Collect the required information through key informant interviews (health staff, health care users) and observations.  


According to the global criteria, every “baby friendly” health facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:

  1. have a written breastfeeding policy routinely communicated to all health care staff
  2. train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement policy
  3. inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding
  4. help mothers initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth
  5. show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation
  6. give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated
  7. practice ‘rooming in’ by allowing mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day
  8. encourage breastfeeding on demand
  9. give no artificial teats / pacifiers / dummies / soothers to breastfeeding infants
  10. foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birthing centre


(source: WHO/UNICEF (2009)

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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