Man sits next to his wife who is breastfeeding their baby

Baby-Friendly Initiative Strategy for Ontario (BFI)

The Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) Strategy for Ontario is one area of investment by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to enhance breastfeeding in Ontario.  BFI is a globally recognized quality standard launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledging facilities for offering an optimal level of care and support for breastfeeding parents and babies.  

The BFI Strategy for Ontario provides hospitals and community health organizations with training, tools, guidance, and educational resources to implement evidence-based best practices, and help achieve World Health Organization’s BFI designation and adopt best practices that meet BFI requirements.  The BFI Strategy for Ontario supports the work of the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada and BFI Ontario, the national and provincial authorities for BFI.

Michael Garron Hospital is one of only five hospitals in Ontario, and the first in Toronto, to have achieved the BFI designation.

We are also leaders in a partnership with the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health and Best Start Resource Centre at Health Nexus.  At Michael Garron Hospital we are proud of our reputation as a hospital where breastfeeding is promoted, protected and supported.  Our Breastfeeding Centre for Families is one way we do this.

BFI Benefits

The BFI not only supports and promotes breastfeeding, but also skin-to-skin contact and other best practices.  In fact, the evidence strongly suggests that BFI best practices will help to protect newborn infants from infectious diseases and promote optimal growth, health and development, support the mother’s health and much more.

Health care agencies that adopt Baby-Friendly practices will observe:

  • Increased rate for initiation of breastfeeding
  • Increased rate of exclusive breastfeeding at discharge from hospital
  • Decreased non-medical supplementation in hospital
  • Decreased use of formula (and reduced costs)
  • Increased duration of breastfeeding
  • Increased patient satisfaction with regard to infant feeding practices


The BFI Strategy for Ontario has produced a number of evidence-based best practice resources.

For information about BFI Workshops, Webinars, Resources or coaching support, please email the team at @email

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