Mother- and child-friendly health establishments

Health establishments

Mother- and child-friendly health establishments

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It is the Sanitary Regulation for the Certification of Health Establishments as Friends of the Mother and the Child.  Morbidity through adequate care for pregnant women, humanized childbirth. The support, protection, and promotion of breastfeeding. Although compliance with the parameters established in this regulation is conducive to the Certification of units as “Friends of Mother and Child”, all health units that attend births. Whether public or private, whether or not they wish to be certified. Must comply with the articles related to childbirth, puerperium, and breastfeeding.

This regulation establishes the guidelines for the care of the mother. The newborn ensures a good start to life, providing quality, warmth, continuity, relevance, and comprehensiveness. Guaranteeing compliance with the constitutional mandates as well as the Care Model. Comprehensive in Health.


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The Sanitary Regulation for the Certification of Health Establishments of the National Health System as Mother and Child Friendly is implemented in Ecuador as an adaptation of the Child-Friendly Hospital Initiative (IHAN) of the WHO and UNICEF that seeks the protection, support, and promotion of breastfeeding taking into account mother-friendly care. Until 2015, the initiative was maintained as part of the National Strategy for the Promotion, Protection, and Support of Breastfeeding in the Nutrition Area, however, in 2015 it was necessary to include in the criteria: friendly and humanized the mother during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and puerperium.


The Sustainable Development Goals, the National Plan for Good Living 2013-2017. And the Social Agenda 2013-2017 include among the priorities of established goals. The prevention of maternal and child death, and malnutrition in all its forms. And the increase in the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding up to the sixth month. Compliance with this regulation will contribute to the achievement of these goals. The support of health personnel, from health establishments, will help to have controlled mothers and newborns, well-informed families, and a healthy population.

Obstetric violence and the feeding of newborns with dextrose serums and artificial milk have become a normalized practice in several health establishments.  Hand in hand must be the correct information that health personnel must provide to mothers and families so that they can make informed decisions.

Compliance with this regulation has the potential to positively change the lives of the more than 200,000 children born annually in the country, reducing the chances of illness and death for them and their mothers. Only with the practice of breastfeeding in the first hour after childbirth, exclusive breastfeeding up to the sixth-month benefits and, in turn, this would: reduce the risk of leukemia in childhood by 19%, reduce by up to 60% the chances of dying from sudden death syndrome, reducing the risk of obesity and overweight and co-related chronic diseases by 13%, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by 35%. This same practice also has benefits for mothers, it reduces the chances of breast cancer by 26%, ovarian cancer by 37%, and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes by 32%.

The specific objectives of the regulation are:

  • Improve the quality and comprehensiveness of pre-natal care,
  • promote humanized childbirth and adequate care of the newborn,
  • improve the quality of care for obstetric and neonatal emergencies,
  • prevent vertical transmission of HIV and syphilis,
  • encourage, support, and protect breastfeeding,

Adequate care may be a prerequisite for increasing them. For example, guaranteeing breastfeeding in the first hour significantly increases the chances of maintaining exclusive breastfeeding. Until the sixth month and this benefits the population in general in the short and long term. The benefits for mother and child are innumerable and health personnel has an ethical duty to support this practice.

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