The D1: Discovery Phase is the first of four phases and is considered to be the “learning phase” of the 4-D Pathway to Baby-Friendly designation.  The Discovery Phase is the time to learn what it means to be a Baby-Friendly designated facility.  Among the most important things to discover are the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (the Ten Steps) and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the International Code), which are the principles that guide the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

Attainment of the Baby-Friendly designation will require your facility to meet specific benchmarks for each of the Ten Steps and the International Code.  The benchmarks are described in the Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria (GEC).

The three Discovery Phase (D1) tasks which your facility must complete are listed below:

D1 Pathway - Baby Friendly USA

There is no fee to register your facility with BFUSA.  Registration is a two part process which includes submitting two forms:

  1. New Registration Form

    Complete and submit the New Registration Form. This form simply provides basic information that allows BFUSA to enter your facility into our Database.

    Register Now
  2. Discovery Registration Form

    Once we have accepted the New Registration Form, you as the facility’s initial registrant, will receive login information that will provide you access to the online Discovery Registration Form to enroll your facility into the Discovery Phase.

    Please note: all registered users must supply a hospital-branded email address.  No personal email addresses will be activated.

    Once both parts of the registration process have been completed and your facility has identified its BFUSA registered users, these users will receive an email instructing them on how to access their account and the online toolkit. Each facility must register a minimum of 2 Users/maximum of 3 Users. In the remaining tasks below, we provide timelines to assist your progress with moving forward through this phase.

Within 9 months of Discovery Phase registration

Leadership support to undertake the Baby-Friendly journey is associated with greater success in attaining the designation.  Please submit the signed CEO Support and Primary User Letter of Intent on facility letterhead to BFUSA.

Download Letter of Intent

Further instructions are included inside the letter.

Within 9 months of Discovery Phase registration

Facility Data Sheet

An online tool is used to gather additional facility information and key data such as your breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity rates. For instructions on how to complete and submit the Facility Data Sheet, download the Facility Data Sheet Guide.

Sample Facility Data Sheet
Facility Data Sheet Guide
Self-Appraisal Tool

An online tool is used to provide your facility with a benchmark for implementation of the Baby-Friendly Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria. It is neither scored nor graded by BFUSA.  It is a tool for your facility to use to develop a plan for meeting the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Sample Self-Appraisal Tool
Important Note

Once you have formally registered and been enrolled into the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, you will receive login information that will provide you access to the BFUSA portal to complete and submit your Facility Data Sheet and Self-Appraisal Tool online.  Please do not submit either of these tools in paper form.

Navigating the BFUSA Portal
Need help navigating the BFUSA Portal? Download our helpful presentation.
Receiving emails from BFUSA

To ensure that BFUSA emails do not get bounced by your server, please whitelist or add the domain @babyfriendlyusa.org to your email account’s Do Not Block Domain List.  Contact your IT Department if you do not know how to set this up.

Movement to the Development Phase

Upon receipt of all of the items specified above, BFUSA will invoice your facility for the appropriate Development Phase fee.  (Note: Facilities may complete their Discovery Phase work faster than the timeframes outlined above.) Completion of all three Discovery Phase tasks and payment of the Development Phase fee are required to move forward in the 4-D Pathway.

Once your facility has successfully completed these three tasks and submitted the appropriate Development Phase fee, BFUSA will send your facility a Discovery Phase Registry of Intent Certificate acknowledging your facility’s acceptance into the D2: Development Phase of the 4-D pathway and will provide you with access to the online Development Phase Tool Kit.

Proceed to D2: Development