Quarterly scientific journal

Practices of Baby friendly Hospitals: Case study of starting breastfeeding at a public hospital a public hospital and a private clinic in the city of Chania

Stavroula Stivanaki , Elisavet Frengidou


Introduction: Breast milk has an unquestionable value. It has been documented through numerous studies that hospital practices have a decisive impact on successful breastfeeding. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) has a measurable and proven effect on exclusive breastfeeding. Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate in which extent the "10 Steps" for Successful Breastfeeding as well as the International Code for Marketing Substitutes of Breast Milk were implemented through the self-reported experience of mothers. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted during December 2015 to March 2016 and the study population consisted of 152 mothers who had delivered a baby at a public hospital and a private clinic in the city of Chania. Data collection was performed with an anonymous questionnaire that was filled out voluntarily. Results: The level of breastfeeding at discharge was very high (96,1%) while the rate of exclusive breastfeeding was 50,7%. Based on the self-reported experience of the mothers, the public hospital complies with the 7th step, that refers to “rooming-in” (91,4%), and also with the aspect of the 5th step, that refers to offering assistance with breastfeeding within six hours of birth (85,9%). The private clinic meets the Global Criteria just for one aspect of the 9th step, that refers to babies being cared without using pacifiers (92,5%). Conclusions: The promotion of procedures for the designation of Greek maternity hospitals as “Baby Friendly” is expected to have a significant effect on the establishment of breastfeeding in Greece. 

Keywords: breastfeeding, ten steps for successful breastfeeding, international code for marketing substitutes of breast milk, baby friendly hospitals

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