Baby friendly hospital program
Vaasa central hospital works in accordance with the WHO/Unicef's Baby friendly hospital program in order to promote breastfeeding. The aim is to support and help families into a successful breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding benefits the health of both the mother and the baby. Breastmilk is the only nourishment most babies need for the first six months according to recommendations by WHO/Unicef. After that breastfeeding is recommended to continue alongside solid food up to at least one year of age.
The delivery unit's principles and practices are of central importance for breastfeeding to get started as well as for exclusive breastfeeding.
The core of the WHO Babyfriendly Hospital Initiative is "10 steps to successful breastfeeding", which offer guidelines for a consistent breastfeeding guidance. These include skin-to-skin contact, enabling the baby's first feeding in the delivery room or at the ward, rooming-in 24/7 as well as breastfeeding on demand by recognizing and responding to the baby´s cues for feeding. Breastmilk substitute is given to the baby only due to medical reasons. It is evidenced that a reduced amount of breastmilk substitutes and more efficient breastfeeding guidance during the first days of the baby's life result in more mothers succeeding in breastfeeding.