Global, evidence-based initiative based on WHO and UNICEF standards

Today, Peterborough Regional Health Centre kicks off a multi-year, hospital-wide journey to become designated as a baby-friendly organization.

The Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) is a global, evidence-based standard of care, based on World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF standards. PRHC is one of a number of organizations in Ontario currently working toward achieving BFI designation.

The process includes extensive, hospital-wide education and training to meet provincial standards in support of the promotion of positive breastfeeding practices. “The work to achieve BFI designation for the Health Centre is already underway, and we are proud and pleased to be sharing information and supporting practices that are so important to every baby’s health and development in the first few months and years of life,” says Heidi Croal, Lactation Consultant with PRHC.

BFI incorporates practices and policies that enhance the successful initiation and duration of breastfeeding. Both the WHO and Health Canada recommend that infants breastfeed for the first six months, up to two years old and beyond. Research has proven the value of enhanced breastfeeding support in hospitals, as well as ongoing support in the community, to help moms and babies achieve breastfeeding success.

“Our overarching objective is to improve health outcomes for both moms and babies and to provide support within a universally baby-friendly organization, in collaboration with our partners in the community” says Sheri Ferkl, Director of the Women’s and Children’s Program at PRHC. “We look forward to sharing this valuable education across the hospital, which will ultimately benefit some of our youngest and most vulnerable patients.”

For more information, visit

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For More Information:
Rebecca Kerrivan
705-743-2121 x. 2234