Baby Friendly Health Initiative in Ireland (BFHI) is a registered charity active since 1998 and serves as the National Authority for the WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative in Ireland. All maternity units participate in the BFHI in Ireland.
The main object for which the BFHI is established is to benefit the community by encouraging and supporting health-promoting practices towards ensuring a breastfeeding supportive health care environment which fosters life-long health for infants and their mothers.
Activity of the BFH aims to:
- Encourage and educate health facilities towards implementing best practices, including to develop and disseminate policies and guidelines and supporting education materials,
- Undertake the monitoring and assessment of practices when invited to by the health facility, in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization and UNICEF,
- Network and collaborate with individuals and entities with related objectives nationally and internationally,
- Raise awareness of the importance of supportive health service environments in promoting and supporting breastfeeding, and awareness of the value of participation in the Baby Friendly Health Initiative,
- Plan, review and manage activities of the Baby Friendly Health Initiative so as to ensure effective functioning exclusively for charitable purposes.
The web site includes resources for implementing, monitoring and sustaining quality care, BFHI Link newsletter, Parent Info sheets, research activity, achievements and links to related material.
The National Committee of the BFHI in Ireland provides direction and governance.