Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI)

The Royal Hospital for Women is not only the longest accredited BFHI facility in Australia, but was also the first tertiary referral hospital in New South Wales to achieve accreditation as a BFHI facility in 1999!

The Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) is an initiative/project launched by The World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) which guides maternity health services to protect, promote and support breastfeeding internationally. BFHI accreditation is a challenging process but it is highly-valued because it demonstrates that a health facility is committed to offering the highest standard of maternity care.  Our Hospital maintains accreditation as a BFHI facility by adhering to the philosophy of the BFHI framework -The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The aim is to provide every woman with her best chance of establishing breastfeeding and then for her to continue to exclusively breastfeed her baby for as long as possible.

In 1999, the Royal Hospital for Women successfully attained accreditation as a BFHI facility under the dedicated leadership of Ms. Joy Heads (OAM), our Clinical Midwifery Consultant for Lactation Services at the time. Ms. Heads played a pivotal role in reorienting our hospital's approach towards fostering clinical practices and nurturing environments that offer unwavering support to breastfeeding mothers — a commitment that endures to this day. Subsequently, in alignment with ongoing quality enhancement objectives, we actively pursue  opportunities for continuous improvement, culminating in the renewal of our accreditation every three years.