Yesterday the Inuvik Regional Hospital celebrated receiving their Baby-Friendly Initiative Designation, making them the first facility in the three Territories to achieve this designation.
The BFI Designation is a worldwide initiative established by the World Health Organization that supports family-centred maternity, newborn care practices and promotes breastfeeding. Inuvik Regional Hospital and their BFI Committee have been actively working to improve maternal and newborn care for many years.
Marina Green, Co-Chair of the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada congratulated everyone at Inuvik Regional Hospital saying that the designation ceremony welcomes Inuvik Regional Hospital into the growing global community of Baby-Friendly Hospitals.
To receive the Baby-Friendly designation, the hospital went through a comprehensive external assessment of maternity care practices that included an audit of files, interviews with clinical and non-clinical staff, interviews with mothers who had recently given birth in the facility, and a review of policies the facility’s and procedures.
During the assessment of the program, mothers interviewed were very pleased with the care they received, stating they received consistent infant feeding education and support, regardless of if they chose to breast or bottle feed.
Green noted that the first few days in the life of a new family is a vulnerable time, a time when care and support received has impacts lasting a lifetime.
“Breastfeeding benefits babies, families and the community. Baby-Friendly care supports breastfeeding and the development of strong families.”
Sue Cullen, CEO of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority said that receiving the Baby-Friendly designation is a tremendous accomplishment for Inuvik Regional Hospital.
“It demonstrates our commitment to supporting maternal and infant care. Across the NTHSSA we are committed to providing the best care and services to all residents and we will continue to work towards BFI designations in other facilities throughout our operations.”
The Department of Health and Social Services and NTHSSA announced that the NWT will be hosting the next national Baby Friendly Initiative Symposium on October 1-3, 2019 in Yellowknife.
Currently, four other health facilities in the NWT are also working towards their baby-friendly designation, including Hay River Regional Health Centre, Stanton Territorial Hospital, Yellowknife Public Health, and Fort Smith Health Centre.