The impact of the Baby Friendly Health Initiative in the Australian health care system a critical narrative review of the evidence

Publisher:
Journal of the Australian Breastfeeding Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Breastfeeding Review, 2013, 21 (2), pp. 15 - 22
Issue Date:
2013-01
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Studies.have.identified.that.the.practices.of.maternity.facilities.and.health.professionals.are.crucial.to.womens.experience.of. support.and.breastfeeding.`success..The.Baby.Friendly.Hospital Initiative.(BFHI).was.launched.globally.in.1991.to.protect,. promote.and.support.breastfeeding..While.a.direct.causal.effect.has.not.been.established.and.critics.suggest.the.rhetoric. conflicts.with.womens.lived.experiences.as.new.mothers,.a.positive.association.between.the.Initiative.and.breastfeeding. prevalence.is.apparent..Internationally,.impact.studies.have.demonstrated.that.where.the.Initiative.is.well.integrated,.there. is.an.increase.in.rates.of.breastfeeding.initiation.and,.to.a.lesser.extent,.duration..In.consideration.of.the.known.health.risks. associated.with.the.use.of.artificial.baby.milks.this.would.suggest.that.BFHI.implementation.and.accreditation.should.be.a. desirable.strategy.for.committed.health.facilities..However,.a.variation.in.both.BFHI.uptake.and.breastfeeding.prevalence. between.nations.has.been.reported..This.narrative.review.critically.discusses.a.variety.of.issues.relevant.to.the.uptake. and.support.of.breastfeeding.and.the.BFHI,.utilising.Australia.as.a.case.study..Whilst.it.enjoys.`in.principle.policy.support,. Australia.also.suffers.from.a.lack.of.uniformity.in.uptake.and.perception.of.the.benefits.of.BFHI.at.all.levels.of.the.health. system..Australian.and.international.studies.have.identified.similar.enablers.and.barriers.to.implementation.
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