Seventy percent babies receive their mother's milk in 'Golden
Hour,' through Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)

Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital has become one of the first hospitals in Mumbai to successfully implement a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). Under this initiative, 71% children born at the hospital during June-July 2019 received their mother’s milk within the ‘Golden Hour’ of childbirth.

“We conducted an audit of our ‘Birthing Unit’ to understand constraints, bottlenecks and current beliefs or practices. The audit report findings suggested the need for counselling and training for expectant mothers during the antenatal period. We helped the mothers prepare physically and mentally to breastfeed their babies postdelivery and experience it as precious bonding moments with their baby,” said Dr Gayatri Deshpande, Consultant, Gynaecology & Obstetrics, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital.

While the early breastfeeding rate of Nanavati was 17%, between June and July the rate grew to 71%. All 56 childbirths, through vaginal and caesarean deliveries, were strictly followed by skin-to-skin contact of mother and child involving breastfeeding initiation. Dr. Deshpande said the two most integral part of the initiative at Nanavati were breastfeeding initiation within the first hour of birth and giving the child only breast milk exclusively for the first six months. “Cases, where we couldn’t initiate breastfeeding, were those, where either mother or the child needed immediate medical attention and couldn’t physically be together,” said Dr. Deshpande, who spearheaded the programme along with Dr. Jui ShindePatil, Lactation Counsellor

Dr. Deshpande added that though the hospital has been implementing

BFHI, result-driven implementation meant sensitisation of all staff members through seminars, talks and workshops about the importance of early initiation to breastfeeding and how it is lifesaving for both mother and child. All the mothers, visiting the hospital during their time of pregnancy, were included in antenatal counselling programmes where they were taught about the importance and management of breastfeeding along with commonly faced complications and how to resolve them.

“We completely discouraged mothers from using any commercially available baby foods for at least the first six months. A few of our patients had twins and after counselling, despite the practical difficulties, continued to breastfeed them exclusively for six months,” said Dr. Shinde. Due to the counselling by Dr. Shinde, as compared to 51% babies who received formula feed as their first meal during January to May, only 7% babies were fed formula feed during June-July.

Even in caesarean deliveries, the team preferred to give local anaesthesia to the mothers rather than general anaesthesia to ensure mothers are conscious post the childbirth

Almost every baby born at the hospital now is breastfed within the first 60-90 minutes of birth and spends at least 25-30 minutes of skin-to-skin contact with their mothers. The hospital is now aiming to achieve over 80% rate in skin-to-skin contact between mother and child, early initiation to breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months to comply with the WHO guidelines and set a benchmark in child-mother health care.


Dr. Gayatri Deshpande
Senior Consultant
Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Nanavati Super
Speciality Hospital

Dr. Jui Shinde
Lactation Counsellor
Nanavati Super
Speciality Hospital