Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

What is Baby-Friendly?

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that assists hospitals in giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding or safely feed with formula, and gives special recognition to hospitals that prioritize this education. The BFHI was started by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund in 1991 as a way to encourage the broad-scale implementation of and the "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding" (below) and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.  The accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, is Baby-Friendly USA (BFUSA).


Oklahoma breastfeeding rankings.


CDC surveys breastfeeding practices in the United States to monitor progress over time and identify priority areas that need attention. The National Immunization Survey (NIS) uses random-digit dialing to survey US households with children and teens. It provides current national, state, selected local level, and some US territory estimates of vaccination coverage rates for US children aged 19 to 35 months, teens aged 13 to 17 years, and flu vaccinations for children aged 6 months to 17 years. Since July 2001, breastfeeding questions have been asked on the NIS and are used to monitor breastfeeding rates at both national and state levels by birth year. All respondents with children aged 19 to 35 months are asked the breastfeeding questions. Source:



As the accrediting body and national authority for the BFHI in the United States, BFUSA is responsible for coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly® designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US.  Currently, the national average percentage of babies born in a Baby-Friendly® designated hospital is 28.24%.  In Oklahoma the percentage of babies born in a Baby-Friendly® designated hospital is 31.7%. Birth data for Oklahoma obtained at:

Baby-Friendly: A Mother’s Story (#1)

Baby-Friendly: A Mother’s Story (#2)

Baby-Friendly: A Mother’s Story (#2)

A Mom's Story      

Baby-Friendly: A Nurse’s Story

Baby-Friendly: A Doctor’s Story

Becoming Baby-Friendly in Oklahoma (BBFOK)

At the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Resource Center (OBRC), we help facilitate a state-wide effort called "Becoming Baby-Friendly in Oklahoma" (BBFOK). Our goal is to help Oklahoma hospitals improve maternity care and increase the number of "Baby-Friendly" hospitals in Oklahoma. 

This initiative is funded by the Oklahoma State Department of Health through the Maternal and Child Health Service. Partners include the Oklahoma Hospital Association, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Office of Perinatal Quality Improvement, and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

OBRC will support you, your staff and facility leaders throughout your journey to becoming Baby-Friendly in Oklahoma.

Map of Baby-Friendly Hospitals in Oklahoma



Hospitals on the pathway to Baby-Friendly

11. Duncan Regional Hospital - Designation Phase

12. Integris Southwest Medical Center - Designation Phase

13. St. Anthony Shawnee - Designation Phase

BBFOK Webinars

As part of the continuing care to help Oklahoma hospitals on their baby-friendly journey, the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Resource Center frequently provides webinars on various topics related to the Ten Steps of Successful Breastfeeding as well as other topics of interest to the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

See every webinar and their slides here!

See every webinar on our YouTube channel here!

Benefits to joining BBFOK

Assistance and guidance from OBRC

Free in-person staff training by OBRC

Discount on online training for hospital staff

National recognition for Baby-Friendly Designation

OSDH will Reimburse up to $9,500 of fees paid to BFUSA 

Starting your BBFOK journey is easy!

The 4-D Pathway to Baby-Friendly Designation

To achieve the Baby-Friendly designation, facilities first register with Baby-Friendly USA.

They then complete all of the requirements in each of the four phases of the process.The 4-D Pathway is a tool for facilities to use to measure their progress along the journey that leads to Baby-Friendly designation.

The four phases of the 4-D Pathway are as follows: DISCOVERY- The Learning Phase; DEVELOPMENT- The Planning Phase; DISSEMINATION - The Implementing Phase; DESIGNATION - The Assessing Phase.   Click here for a 4-D Pathway PDFUltimately, the facility demonstrates that they have attained the gold standard of maternity practices that support optimal infant nutrition during an on-site assessment.

Map of BFUSA's 4D Pathway to Become Baby-Friendly

“I loved Baby-Friendly. I would have worried too much if the baby was not in our room!”

Photo provided by Elizabeth Gleese Photography

“We loved Baby-Friendly! We got to see the bath and ask questions when testing was done!”

Photo provided by Elizabeth Gleese Photography

“I’m looking forward to having my baby skin to skin and breastfeeding right after delivery!”

Photo provided by Elizabeth Gleese Photography

“All the changes that have happened to help breastfeeding moms made my decision to deliver at a baby-friendly hospital an easy one to make.”

Photo provided by Los Lazos de Lactancia