CE: Beyond Maternity Nursing

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The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a program developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to promote breastfeeding in hospitals and birthing facilities worldwide. Since the program was launched in 1991, breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity have increased globally, a trend largely attributed to changes in hospital policies and practices brought about by the BFHI. This article provides an overview of these practices and policies, the institutional benefits of achieving BFHI certification, and the process through which health care facilities can do so. All nurses—whether they work in maternity care or another nursing specialty in a hospital, ambulatory, or community setting—can play a role in promoting societal health through their support of long-term breastfeeding as recommended by the WHO and UNICEF.

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