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Baby friendly hospital initiative experiences from a service hospital

Medical Journal Armed Forces India
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0377-1237(01)80084-8
  • Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Program (Bfhi)
  • Design
  • Education


Abstract All pregnant mothers attending antenatal clinic, mothers delivering at Command Hospital (Air Force) and parents of infants attending immunization clinic at Command Hospital (Air Force) from the period June 1998 to July 1999 are included in this retrospective and prospective cross sectional study. A preformatted questionnaire was designed to assess the practices related to breast feeding during antenatal, in labour room and postnatal ward both for the period pre BFHI and post BFHI Programme initiated at Command Hospital (Air Force). 225 mothers were included in the study with 90 belonging to pre BFHI group (A) and 135 to post BFHI group (B). Significant changes in the breast feeding practices including antenatal advice on breast feeding and breast examination in group A & B were observed (22.3% vs 82.9% and 13.3% vs 74.8%), rooming in with mother and first feed within 1/2 hr (64.4% vs 92.5% and 35.5% vs 96.5%), teaching skill of breast feeding and manual expression (55.5% vs 91.8% vs 24.4% vs 74.0%). Other important changes included total discontinuation of formula feeds, exclusive breast milk in all preterm infants and avoiding all forms of prelacteal feeds. This study strengthens the fact that appropriate education and training of health care givers can result in reversing practices which are ‘inappropriately baby friendly’ to become ‘appropriately baby and mother friendly’. Command Hospital (Air Force) happens to be first service hospital to be recognized as baby friendly. The experience could be applied to achieve the target of all service hospitals becoming baby friendly.

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