The Baby Friendly Initiative accredits maternity and community facilities that adopt internationally recognised standards of best practice in the care of mothers and babies. Accreditation takes place in stages (see below). For more information on the requirements for Baby Friendly accreditation, click here.
Stages of accreditation
• A Certificate of Commitment is exactly that, a certificate to mark the facility’s commitment to work towards Baby Friendly accreditation. It assesses the breastfeeding policy and involves an implementation visit
• Stage 1 assesses policies and procedures
• Stage 2 assesses the staff education programme
• Stage 3 assesses the care provided to pregnant women and new mothers.
As facilities work through the stages, their progress will be recorded on the Baby Friendly awards tables.
Hospitals, health centres and surgeries with full Baby Friendly accreditation have been externally assessed at each stage. Assessment is a rigorous procedure and ensures best practice standards are adopted. Accredited facilities must undergo repeat assessments every few years. They can be expected to provide a high standard of care for mothers and babies, in line with the Ten Steps (hospitals) or the Seven Point Plan (community facilities).
Facilities with a Certificate of Commitment, or a pass at Stage 1 or 2, are in the process of becoming Baby Friendly and are working to improve the way they care for mothers and babies. Facilities that have registered their intention to work towards accreditation have not yet been assessed so UNICEF has no information about the standard of care they provide.
Choose from the menu on the left for more information about our awards.
You can find out if your health-care facility is Baby Friendly by looking through our list of accredited facilities. For community facilities, only those with an award are listed; for hospitals, all those with a maternity unit are listed, even if they have no accreditation status. You can also search for your nearest hospital and write a letter to the chief executive about the care provided.