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Contact BFHI in Ireland



Project Resources

If a participating hospital would like a document in an editable format (Word) please contact the National BFHI Coordinator at bfhi@iol.ie

Role of hospital BFHI contact person (Word)

Frequently asked questions

Want more information? See our Frequently Asked Questions
 (pdf 133 KB)         

BFHI activities fit with National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare (read more)

Policies and supporting documents

HSE National Infant feeding policy for maternity and neonatal services 
Parents' Guide to the Infant Feeding policy 
     Parents' Guide in Irish, Polish and in Lithuanian
Antenatal Discussion Checklist (See BFHI Link newsletter Issue 22 for accompanying parent handout)
Breastfeeding in Ireland. A five-year strategic action plan - National Committee on Breastfeeding, Department of Health and Children. 2005 (pdf 600KB)

Review your hospital's practices

Maternity services

You can appraise your maternity service practices by using the BFHI Global Self-Appraisal Form.

BFHI Self-Appraisal form  including Policy Self-Appraisal Checklist (revised 2013) (pdf 363 KB)
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (pdf 90 KB)
Criteria for best practice and assessment (revised 2011)

Hospitals designated as meeting the criteria as Baby-friendly Hospitals are required to maintain their standards. More information on monitoring and reassessment


WHO/UNICEF Global Revision Project - information on the Global Revision. This link takes you to the UNICEF (global) website.

Action Planning
Planning is a key component of most projects. A key to quality care is a plan that is:




Resources for Planning:

BFHI Link Issue 6 and Issue 26

HPH Action Plan Template and Guidance Notes and Action Report Form

The "Code"

Baby-friendly designated hospitals are required to support the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and its subsequent resolutions. The International Code goes beyond what is required by Irish legislation on infant formula marketing. 

Magazines given to pregnant women by the hospital - what are they marketing? Read more

If a hospital employee speaks at a formula sponsored event does this imply the hospital endorses the products? Read more

What do codes of professional ethics say about involvement with marketing and what is the role of servicre managers? Read more

What are the different forms of marketing, how to watch out for them in health facilities and how to minimise the impact on parebts. Download and read the new (March 2013) Guide for Health Workers to working within the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

More resources on the Code 


BFHI in Ireland does not provide training courses directly to hospitals. 

The criteria for assessment is that the relevant staff have the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to implement the hospital policy and baby-friendly practices. This knowledge, attitude and skill is likely to be acquired through classroom sessions, reading, practical training, informal discussions, workshops and other means, both as pre-service and continuing education. Training needs will depend on the staff member's role and involvement with pregnant women, new mothers and their infants. All staff in contact with mothers need to be aware of the hospital breastfeeding policy and their role in implementing it. 

BFHI in Ireland does not require hospitals to teach any particular course and it does not accredit courses or course facilitators. 

More on Training

Materials in languages other than English

BFHI in other countries, particularly the BFI UK. See Links page.
La Leche League  Go to www.lalecheleague.org  then click on Welcome in the language you are looking for or the web site of that country. Also ask your local La Leche League Leader about materials.

Contents of the publication may vary slightly from the English language version or version in Ireland. For example, the BFI UK publication Breastfeeding Your Baby is not exactly the same as the BFHI Ireland publication by the same name. Terms such as community midwife and health visitor may be used in UK information, and visits to paediatrician in US materials where we would take the baby to a GP or public health nurse.  Information from other countries may lack contact details for support in Ireland so ensure there is a sticker or other information that gives local contacts.

Remember it is better to give no leaflet than to give a leaflet in the personís own language that has incorrect information. Do not give out leaflets if you do not know what is written in them.

If you are thinking of translating BFHI materials for use in Ireland, please check first with the BFHI National Coordinator or the National Breastfeeding Coordinator. This ensures you are using the most recent version and not duplicating work already done. Copyrighted materials should not be translated without permission from the holder of the copyright.

Currently inactive 


Paediatric services

BFHI in Ireland also has a Breastfeeding Supportive Paediatric Project. You can appraise your paediatric service practices by using the Paediatric Self-Appraisal Form. Download a form to join the project if you provide hospital paediatric services to infants and young children.
Paediatric BFHI FAQ (pdf 114 KB)
Join Paediatric Project
 (pdf 174 KB)   
Paediatric Self-Appraisal form (pdf 272 KB)
Ten Steps to Supporting Breastfeeding in the Paediatric Unit (pdf 90 KB)

Breastfeeding Supportive Workplace

Is your health facility supportive of staff who return to work breastfeeding? Review the supports in place with the Self-Appraisal checklist. Health facilities that are a member of the Irish Network of Health Promoting Hospitals or participating in a BFHI project can apply for a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.
Breastfeeding Supportive Workplace FAQ (pdf 71 KB)
Breastfeeding Supportive Workplace Criteria (pdf 124 KB)
Breastfeeding Supportive Workplace Self-Appraisal (pdf 114 KB)
Workplace Participation Application

More information on supporting breastfeeding in the workplace:
Breastfeeding and Working booklet (HSE)
Legislation on breastfeeding breaks
Trade Union material on maternity support
Health and Safety Authority
BFHI Link Issue 14 and Issue 30



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Last modified: April 14, 2014