Background The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) has a positive effect on breastfeeding but there are few studies examining this association in NICUs.
Aim To compare breastfeeding support in Spanish NICUs at hospitals with any BFHI stage or full accreditation (Group1) with NICUs of hospitals that haven’t begun this initiative (Group2).
Methods Validated questionnaire of breastfeeding support (85 questions) were distributed to head doctors of level II and III public Spanish NICUs (N = 142), from November 2013 to March 2014.
Results The response rate was 90%. Seven NICUs were in designated Baby-friendly hospitals and 44 were in some accreditation stage. These 51 NICUs (Group1) had implemented a higher number of breastfeeding support measures with significant differences in the steps 1, 2, 4, 5 and 8 of the NICU BFHI ten steps. The most important results are in Table 1.
Conclusions Being in the BFHI way in the Maternity Unit improves the implementation of practices to promote and support breastfeeding in NICU.