The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to ensure that all birthing hospitals and centers become "centers of breastfeeding support."
In order to receive a Baby-Friendly designation, birthing facilities must implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and comply with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes.The WHO/UNICEF administer the program internationally, but appoint a national authority in each country to confer the Baby-Friendly designation in their country. More than 150 countries around the world, including the United States, participate in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States.
To date, more than 20,000 maternity facilities in 150 countries around the world have earned the Baby-Friendly designation.