Just a few decades ago, mums the world over were being told that the best thing to nourish their infants with was formula. These days however, both medical professionals and most researchers have made an ‘about face’ on previous recommendations, and now advocate the importance of mothers having their babies on a breast milk-only diet until they’re at least six months old. Still, the notorious ‘formula era’ from the 70s and 80s has left its mark, leaving many of today’s mums confused and wondering which one – breastfeeding or formula – is truly the best option for their baby.
Meet The Baby Friendly Health Initiative
The Baby Friendly Health Initiative, generally known as the BFHI, was formed by the WHO (World Health Organisation) and UNICEF back in 1991, in an effort to raise awareness toward the greater significance of mothers breastfeeding in the promotion of infant health. This initiative not only works one-on-one with individuals, it’s also been working with maternity hospitals, community health centers and other types of health facilities to try to encourage and motivate new mums to feed their babies breast milk and continue breastfeeding their babies as long as possible.
While infant formula provides a great deal of the nutrition that babies need to grow and thrive, it doesn’t contain all they need.
Breast milk is exclusively the only form of nutrition that’s 100% complete to meet your baby’s needs for nutrients, fluids, and energy, for his or her first 6 months of life, and then in reduced quantities from that time forward.
The research not only continues to reveal how breastfeeding strengthens the bonds between mother and child and increase intelligence, but eyesight is also improved, along with speech.
(Breastfeeding also offers mums the perfect excuse to treat themselves to some trendy breastfeeding clothes which won’t only make both private and public feeding a lot easier, but will also help cover up any problem areas while enhancing mum’s new curves!)
BFHI Isn’t Just For Mums Who Breastfeed
Despite the benefits, breastfeeding isn’t the right way to go for every mother or baby, and the BFHI doesn’t fail to recognize this.
The Baby Friendly Health Initiative has one primary goal: to provide every baby with the best possible health through any means available. The organisation also empowers alternative-feeding mothers and formula feeding mothers as well, and helps such parents establish a strong relationship so each mother and her infant are responsive and properly bonded to one another.