Baby-Friendly Maternal and Child Health Centre

Background

Since 2000, DH has implemented a breastfeeding policy to provide a supportive environment that encourages and supports mothers to breastfeed their babies in a network of Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHCs). Doctors and nurses of MCHCs are trained to promote and support breastfeeding through various means, e.g. providing health education for pregnant women, conducting breastfeeding assessments and skills support for breastfeeding mothers, as well as managing breastfeeding problems.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a worldwide programme launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. It aims to give every baby the best start in life by creating a health care environment that supports breastfeeding as the norm. Since 2013, the public birthing hospitals under the Hospital Authority have started moving towards baby-friendliness by phases and they are awarded as Baby friendly Hospitals.

Baby-Friendly Maternal and Child Health Centre

All along MCHCs have shared antenatal care with the regional birthing hospitals under the Hospital Authority. Over 90% of newborns born locally registered with MCHCs within the first few days after birth. Therefore, these newborns and parents are in need of support to establish and sustain breastfeeding. As part of the BFHI care, DH launched in June 2016 a pilot scheme of Baby-Friendly Maternal and Child Health Centre (BFMCHC) Designation in three MCHCs.

  • Kowloon City MCHC
  • Sai Ying Pun MCHC
  • Yaumatei MCHC

Based on the positive results of the pilot, the designation is further rolled out to five more MCHCs in March 2021.

  • Lam Tin MCHC
  • Ma On Shan MCHC
  • North Kwai Chung MCHC
  • Sai Wan Ho MCHC
  • Tin Shui Wai MCHC

Latest progress of BFMCHC designation : Please click here

What do we expect from Baby-Friendly MCHCs?

A Baby-Friendly MCHC

  • implements the Infant Feeding Policy
  • trains all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this Policy
  • helps pregnant women recognise the importance of breastfeeding and early experience for the health and wellbeing of their babies
  • supports parents to build a close, loving and positive relationship with their babies
  • empowers parents to make informed decisions about optimal infant feeding in their situation and give support to their chosen feeding method
  • supports mothers to exclusively breastfeed their newborns for 6 months and sustain breastfeeding for up to 2 years or beyond if they so wish
  • welcomes breastfeeding mothers
  • refers mothers for additional professional care and/or peer support as appropriate