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Contact BFHI in Ireland

 

 

What is the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in Ireland?

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global campaign by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) which recognises that implementing best practice in the maternity service is crucial to the success of programmes to promote breastfeeding.

The Initiative was launched in 1991 and there are more than 19,000 hospitals/maternity units in 148 countries worldwide, including over 300 in Europe, had been officially recognised as Baby Friendly. Irelandís BFHI commenced in April 1998.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative can be viewed as a quality initiative implementing research based best practices. The successful implementation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding ensures that the hospital/unit supports and promotes informed parental choice through the provision of appropriate, accurate and unbiased information and discussions. The initiative involves health promoting practices and so is ideally linked with health promotion activities.

In Ireland, BFHI also has a Breastfeeding Supportive Paediatric Unit Project and a Breastfeeding Supportive Workplace Project, though these are currently inactive.

See our Project Resources for more information 

The first Irish hospitals to reach Baby Friendly standard were Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway and Waterford Regional Hospital. The award were presented at the EU Breastfeeding Promotion Conference on 18 June 2004, in Dublin Castle, by Minister for Health and Children, Mr MicheŠl Martin. This was an event during the term of Irelandís Presidency of the EU. View picture and Press Release
 Portiuncula Hospital maintained supportive practices and following re-assessment achieved re-designation in 2009 as a Baby Friendly Hospital (National Award). View picture

St Munchin's Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick became the third hospital to reach this standard in October 2004. St Munchin's Hospital is Ireland's first midwifery teaching hospital to meet the BFHI criteria. View picture and Press Release St Munchin's Regional Maternity Hospital maintained supportive practices and following re-assessment achieved re-designation in 2011 as a Baby Friendly Hospital (National Award). View picture

The Rotunda Hospital, Dublin and the Maternity Services of University College Hospital, Galway met the criteria and their awards were presented on June 14, 2006. View picture and Press Release. Both hospitals maintained supportive practices and following re-assessment achieved re-designation in July and May 2012 as a Baby Friendly Hospital (National Award)

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda met the criteria and their Baby-friendly award and Breastfeeding Supportive Workplace Silver Award were presented on October 2, 2007 by Mr Pat The Cope Gallagher,TD, Minister of State for Health Promotion, Depratment of Health and Children. View Picture and Press Release

Cavan Hospital was presented with their Baby-friendly award and Breastfeeding Supportive Workplace Bronze Award on April 1st, 2008 by Mr Brendan Smith, Minister for Children. View Picture and Press Release All the maternity units in the HSE Dublin North East region now hold Baby-friendly National awards as well as workplace awards.

The Midland Regional Hospital at Mullingar (view picture) and the Midland Regional Hospital at Portlaoise  (view picturemet the criteria and their Baby-friendly award and Breastfeeding Supportive Workplace Bronze Awards were presented in April and in May 2012. 

What do the National Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative co-ordinator 
and the BFHI advisory committee do?
Download here

BFHI Ireland Annual Report for 2013 Download here

BFHI Ireland Annual Report for 2012 Download here

BFHI and the National Strategic Action Plan for Breastfeeding
       
How BFHI participation links to achieving the strategic objectives
        National Strategic Action Plan for Breastfeeding

Contact Information

The BFHI Coordinator, Dr Genevieve Becker, works part-time and is best contacted by email rather than by phone.  
Postal address
c/o Health Promotion, HSE, Block 4, Central Business Park, Clonminch, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Electronic mail   bfhi@iol.ie

 

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Last modified: February 06, 2014