Site icon Rocked Buzz

IHAB label, the “Baby Friendly Hospitals”


Published on 16 June 2021

Medical validation: 16 June 2021

Respect the physiological needs of the newborn and the mother. This is the key word for establishments certified “Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative” (IHAB). Launched in 1981 at the initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, the IHAB program aims to provide individualized support by placing the needs and rhythms of the newborn and his mother at the heart of the care system. In France, in 2020, 52 maternity hospitals, public or private, have the IHAB label.

The IHAB label was set up at the initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. Choose one maternity IHAB , it increases the chances of “well-treatment” beneficial to all babies and all mothers, whether or not they choose to breastfeed.

An encouragement to breastfeed, but not only! So originally, the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BHI) aimed to encourage, support and protect the breastfeeding she has today hui expanded these missions. But all scientific studies prove it: breast milk is one of the best assets for the health of the child. ” It is not for HAB certified establishments to advocate breastfeeding as one and only mode of feeding but to transmit clear, valid and relevant information that allows mothers to make an informed choice “hastens to specify Kristina Löfgen, coordinator for” IHAB France “, the coordinating body for France.

In labeled establishments, all choices are respected, including that of feed her bottle-fed child . Breastfeeding mothers, like those who have chosen not to breastfeed, benefit from quality support. The information also covers practical matters. Some women refuse to breastfeed for fear of not having enough milk or because they are afraid that their breasts will be deformed. The nursing staff checks that the mother knows how to place the baby on the breast and also tells her how to maintain lactation, even if she is separated from her infant.

The role of the nursing staff? Give young parents self-confidence in order to make them very quickly autonomous. Thus, mothers who do not breastfeed will be informed about the preparation and storage of bottles. When they leave the maternity ward, the parents know how to prepare a bottle and how to store the milk.

During labor, the mother-to-be may be offered an immersion in a bath hot or childbirth in a physiological position . Likewise, after childbirth, the care given to the baby and to the mother takes into account each person’s rhythm and plan.

Favor the mother-child link

When’childbirth is going well and mother and baby are in good health, routine care and examinations are postponed. There is indeed no urgency to bathe, weigh, measure the newborn as soon as it comes out of its mother’s womb! Many studies have shown that leaving the baby against its mother immediately after birth promotes the mother-child bond as well as the newborn’s adaptation to ectopic life. He thus creates a bridge between the world before and the one after his birth. Thanks to skin to skin prolonged, the child finds the heat, the smell, the touch, the breathing, the sounds of the heart and the voice of his mother. ” Again, it is absolutely no question of forcing the mother “underlines Kristina Löfgren. ” If she refuses this skin-to-skin contact just after she has put her baby in the world, it is offered to her a little later or even not at all, if that is what she wants “. Thus birth takes place in calm, gentleness, emotion and takes on its true intimate, emotional, human, humanist, family and social dimension.

Your browser cannot play this video.

Likewise, instead of installing the baby in a nursery and, of course, if his health allows it, he remains permanently with his mother, throughout the stay in the maternity ward. And dads also have their place. At the maternity ward of the Roubaix Hospital Center, ” is the whole architecture of new maternity unit, built in 1991, which has been designed so that parents can be present 24 h / 21 with their baby. Including in the neonatal department where parents can stay during the entire period of hospitalization of their premature baby. There is in each maternity room a baby corner and a sofa bed for the other parent, “says Dr Sylvaine Rousseau, pediatrician in the Woman-Mother-Child pole.

See also

No advertising in IHAB establishments Respecting the WHO Code, adopted in 1981, which aims to protect families and caregivers against commercial pressure, the IHAB maternity hospitals also refuse all advertising, in particular those on infant feeding: no display with a connotation of p ublicitity is tolerated, no distribution of samples or promotional offers is accepted. Finally, it is also prohibited to use personnel paid by manufacturers to contact or give advice to mothers. Staff and health workers are prohibited from accepting personal gifts or free samples.

Care during the Covid epidemic – 19 Posted August 5 2017, an IHAB investigation revealed that maternity hospitals labeled have endeavored to comply with WHO recommendations during the health crisis.

The maternities have ensured that the fathers can stay in contact with their spouse for the birth of the child, but also for the days that followed: they are 100% of IHAB maternities who continued to welcome fathers in the delivery room for vaginal deliveries , 30% of maternities that allowed fathers to be present during cesarean births and in 86% of them the fathers were able to stay in the mother-child room after the birth of the baby.

The link with the newborn has been maintained, with even skin-to-skin dressing which has been more practiced (in 30% of labeled maternities and in a quarter of 16 neonatal services), follow-up of breastfeeding facilitated by parents “ more centered on their newborns and mothers who had not planned to breastfeed decided to engage in this process. ”

Preparations for birth could be maintained by reinventing new learning methods, in particular thanks to teleconsultation, the creation of videos and information broadcasts on the Internet.

IHAB establishments The IHAB label, awarded for a period of 4 years, is awarded by a committee of experts on which sit the representatives of 12 learned societies and associations of have: French Society of Pediatrics, French Society of Perinatal Medicine, French Society of Neonatology, National College of French Obstetrician Gynecologists, National College of Midwives, Unicef ​​France, etc. An annual check of the main indicators is carried out each year by IHAB France. In numbers :

52 labeled establishments including 18 with a neonatal service

4 type III (including 4 with neonatology): management of large high-risk sses. 8 type IIB (including 7 with neonatology): management of moderate-risk pregnancies, with beds in intensive care units. 12 type IIA (including 7 with neonatology): management of high-risk pregnancies. 28 type I maternity hospitals: coverage of so-called normal pregnancies. 69566795 This concerns approximately 72 500 births per year


1-Constitution of the World Health Organization
2- NHS UK conditions