On September 4, 2019, BFUSA issued a statement pertaining to the conflict of interest that emerged as a result of Dr. Brown’s Medical acquiring the Infant Driven Feeding (IDF) Program. Our statement sparked an important discussion among hospital and other staff. We have reviewed the comments, many of which pointed to the lack of a comparable alternative program, improvements to the NICU infant feeding experience, and the alignment of IDF with the concept of cue-based feeding.
After careful consideration, we are revising our guidance in this particular case and are providing facilities with measures to mitigate the conflict of interest concern to continue using this program. If the following measures are taken, BFUSA will not preclude or remove Baby-Friendly designations to those hospitals who use IDF.
Measures to Mitigate the Conflict of Interest
Facilities using the IDF program must take action to ensure all staff understand that: (1) the IDF techniques offer readiness indicators applicable to both breast and bottle feeding; and (2) it is the policy of the facility, whenever possible, to support direct, exclusive breastfeeding as the optimal form of infant nutrition. Staff are expected to respond to the needs and concerns of families while making every effort to assist and support them in achieving that goal. To the extent that the IDF training program does contain some product logos, the facility shall make clear to its staff that it does not endorse any of these products. Staff shall use products that best address the needs of each individual patient. Further, staff should be aware of BFUSA’s conflicts of interest statement.