While BFHI provides many resources to explain and assess the competencies required for staff to implement the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the 2018 revisions to BFHI focus less on prescribing curriculum and course formats than prior iterations. This change is broadly in line with a greater focus on outcome-based measures and a commitment to continuous quality improvement processes, rather than measures that may be less meaningful, even if they are familiar.
Indeed, we have all had the experience of an hour or two seminar that changed our perspective or practice meaningfully - and no doubt, most of us have also had the opposite experience of a several day training that fell rather short of inspiring anything but a desire to get out of there!
While staff come to BFHI training with vastly different experiences and backgrounds, the critical importance of the knowledge and skills in BFHI training means that it should be rare that any participant leaves without some ‘lightbulb’ moments.
Because this training is so often the first opportunity to learn deeply about participants’ contribution to positive breastfeeding outcomes, it is particularly important to choose the training that fits the immediate needs of staff and provides pathways to further growth and understanding.
BFHI, like all system-wide change, needs champions at every level and initial training is often the place where seeds are sown.
Regardless of the format of the courses you choose for yourself or your staff, think about how the curriculum links to what they already know and reaches forward to the passion that BFHI can spark. Take advantage of the energy that often follows learning these skills and ideas by supporting staff to make connections and provide ongoing peer support to one another as they complete their training and translate into their daily practice. Some ideas:
What have you done for yourself or for your staff to spark interest and curiosity in breastfeeding and the BFHI process?
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Last Updated: September 2018