Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative
The initiative was launched by UNICEF and the World Health Organization in 1991, with the aim to humanise healthcare in maternity hospitals and to promote breastfeeding.
The initiative was accepted by as many as 152 countries and almost 20,000 maternity hospitals and wards have been awarded the name ‘Baby Friendly Hospitals’.
Thanks to the initiative, the percentage of children in Croatia breastfed in maternity hospitals rose from 91 to 95, while conditions for ‘rooming-in’ were created in all maternity hospitals. In 2014 Croatia was one of six countries with the highest number of maternity hospitals carrying this prestigious title, together with New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Slovenia.
All 31 maternity wards in Croatia have been awarded the title of ‘Baby Friendly Hospital’ and the initiative continues through breastfeeding support for premature babies as well as support for mothers, in order to make maternity hospitals mother friendly.
There are now 31 Baby Friendly-accredited maternity wards in Croatia that promote high standards of care and support to breastfeeding to mothers and infants.