Baby Friendly Health Initiative for Specialist Staff

$73/per user

  • 12 months access
  • 3 attempts at passing

What you will learn

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global initiative launched by UNICEF and WHO in 1991. It is now called Baby Friendly Health Initiative in Australia. It was introduced into Australia in 1992 and is administered by the Australian College of Midwives (ACM). BFHI aims to give every baby the best start in life by creating a health care environment where breastfeeding is accepted as the biologically normal way to feed an infant.

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in Hospitals and the 7 Point Plan for Community Services are the global standards by which health services are assessed and accredited as 'Baby Friendly' and form the foundation of BFHI. A 'Baby Friendly' health service is one where mothers' informed choice of feeding is supported, respected and encouraged and benefits all mothers regardless of how they decide to feed.


This course is for staff who assist mothers with breastfeeding or provide education in relation to breastfeeding.

Learning outcomes

Topic 1: Baby Friendly Health Initiative

On completion of this topic you will be able to:

  • recognise the importance of the BFHI Initiative in the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding
  • list the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding that forms the foundation of BFHI
  • compare the 10 Steps with the 7 Point Plan for Community Services
  • distinguish the educational requirements for BFHI accreditation.
Topic 2: Impact of hospital practices

On completion of this topic you will be able to:

  • recognise the importance of immediate skin-to-skin contact between mother and infant after birth and the first breastfeed
  • describe the effects of anaesthesia or drugs (analgesia) on the newborn infant and breastfeeding
  • describe the first day sleep patterns of newborns
  • explain the benefits of demand/infant-led feeding, rooming-in and night feeds
  • identify the effects of teats and dummies on establishment of breastfeeding.
Topic 3: How the breast works

On completion of this topic you will be able to:

  • identify the anatomy of the lactating breast
  • compare endocrine and autocrine control of breastmilk production
  • recall the storage capacity of the breast related to milk synthesis
  • recognise the affect of breast surgery on breastfeeding.
Topic 4: Why breastfeed?

On completion of this topic you will be able to:

  • recognise the physiological and nutritional benefits of breastfeeding for the infant
  • identify how breastmilk protects the infant from infection
  • recall the importance of breastfeeding for the mother
  • relate the positive effects of breastfeeding to the environment and economy
  • understand the risks of not breastfeeding for the baby
  • understand the composition of breastmilk.
Topic 5: Breastfeeding as the norm

On completion of this topic you will be able to describe:

  • normal breast changes during pregnancy
  • the prevention of nipple and breast problems
  • hand expressing
  • optimal positioning and attachment
  • normal newborn behaviours and breastfeeding patterns.
Topic 6: Breastfeeding challenges

On completion of this topic you will be able to:

  • identify common breastfeeding challenges listed in this topic
  • define appropriate assessment of breastfeeding challenges
  • evaluate appropriate strategies for the management of breastfeeding challenges.
Topic 7: Breastfeeding beyond hospital

On completion of this topic you will recognise the importance of the early weeks for breastfeeding and how this supports continued breastfeeding by recognising the impact of the following issues:

  • building secure relationship attachment
  • infant growth patterns
  • breastfeeding patterns
  • infant nutrition
  • failure to thrive
  • maternal nutrition
  • expression and storage of breastmilk
  • medicines and drugs during breastfeeding
  • starting complementary foods
  • breastfeeding at work
  • sex and the breastfeeding mother
  • information for fathers.
Topic 8: Mothers not breastfeeding

On completion of this topic you will be able to identify:

  • safe alternatives for a mother to feed her baby when not breastfeeding
  • the Government standards and regulations on infant formula
  • the different types of infant formulas
  • additional ingredients currently added to infant formulas
  • formulas used for specific medical conditions
  • how to educate a mother to safely and hygienically prepare, store and feed infant formula
  • what milks are not suitable for infants in the first year.

Share this with your colleagues, download the Baby Friendly Health Initiative for Specialist Staff A4 promotional flyer/poster

Course last updated: September 2022.

About this course


This program will take approximately 8 hours to complete.


On successful completion of the assessments you can download a certificate of completion.

Evaluation survey

You will have access to the Evaluation Survey once you have completed the assessments. This survey consists of 14 questions which have been designed to give us feedback about the course and should only take about 10 minutes to complete. We greatly value your feedback and use it to make improvements to the course. All responses to this survey are anonymous.


This course adheres to South Australian (SA Health) guidelines and Australian National Standards.

The principles described in the course can however be applied to any health care setting.

If you practice outside South Australia it is your responsibility to refer to the specific requirements of your local health authority.


This course aligns with the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, Second Edition – Standards 1, 2 and 5.

Clinical Governance Standard: Ticked Partnering with Consumers Standard: Ticked Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infection Standard Medication Safety Standard Comprehensive Care Standard: Ticked Communication for Safety Standard Blood Management Standard Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration Standard


SA Health Breastfeeding Policy

SA Health Flexible Working Guidelines

Resources for mothers

Australian Breastfeeding Association – 1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 2 686)

Child and Family Health Services (CaFHS) – 1300 733 606 or

Parent Helpline – 1300 364 100

Find a Lactation Consultant –

Course structure