Becoming a Baby Friendly-accredited facility happens in several stages:
Register of Intent
The facility has registered with UNICEF to establish its intention to work towards Baby Friendly accreditation.
Certificate of Commitment
This is given when there is a breastfeeding policy, an action plan and signed commitment from senior staff.
Stage 1 assessment
This assesses the policies and mechanisms that have been developed to enable Baby Friendly best practice standards to be implemented and maintained.
Stage 2 assessment
The knowledge and skills of clinical staff are assessed.
Stage 3 assessment
The care and information provided to pregnant women and new mothers is assessed.
Awarded when all three stages of the assessment process have been successfully completed.
In order to ensure continued improvements in standards and to maintain high quality of care and support to mothers and babies, all Baby Friendly accredited health facilities must adhere to the following requirements:
• All facilities must collect breastfeeding statistics and must audit compliance with their policy, and thereby the Ten Steps, on an annual basis. The results of the audit should be used to ensure that high standards are being maintained and improved. They should be submitted to the Baby Friendly Initiative office.
• All facilities are re-assessed 24 months after the initial award. If the re-assessment shows that any of the standards are no longer fully being implemented, the facility must then take steps to bring its practices back into line.
• In order to ensure that standards are maintained, the Baby Friendly Initiative will continue to re-assess accredited facilities at regular intervals.
• Progress monitoring visits are carried out to support facilities in maintaining and improving their standards. A suspected drop in standards could lead to an accredited Baby Friendly facility being re-assessed on one or more standards at any point. As a last resort, the award might be withdrawn.