BFUSA is pleased to announce that we have released Interim Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria (GEC) for assessments taking place between February 1, 2020 and December 31, 2022.
The Interim Guidelines infuse more flexibility into the current Evaluation Criteria for Step 7 (“Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day”) and Step 9 (now interpreted as “Counsel mothers on the use and risks of feeding bottles, teats [artificial nipples] and pacifiers”) and make some small clarifications to Step 2 (“Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy”) and Step 3 (“Inform all pregnant women of the benefits of breastfeeding”). They also offer additional options for “Safe Preparation of Infant Formula.”
These changes add greater clarity, give moms and families more choice, and encourage more collaborative conversations between parents and providers.
Facilities currently following the 2016 GEC V2 will not be impacted by this.
The need to develop the Interim GEC was identified during the process of aligning the US BFHI with the 2018 WHO BFHI Implementation Guidance. During this process, BFUSA recognized that some of WHO’s new BFHI requirements had more flexibility than the ones that are currently in use while others will require more time to implement. The Interim GEC allows BFUSA to implement the more flexible standards immediately and then work to finish and release the completely revised US GEC that fully aligns with the 2018 WHO BFHI Implementation Guidance.
We anticipate releasing the completely revised US GEC that fully aligns with the 2018 WHO BFHI Implementation Guidance sometime in the second quarter of 2020. These criteria will apply to assessments taking place in 2023 and beyond. We are delaying the release of this document due to ongoing discussions with WHO regarding the clarification, implementation and assessment of the competencies included in the new Step 2.
Thank you for your support as we make these important changes.