UNICEF is a charity and receives no outside funding to run the Baby Friendly Initiative. Therefore it must charge for the services it provides. There is no element of profit in these charges. NICE has pronounced the implementation of the Baby Friendly standards as cost effective. A costing report (1) which accompanies the NICE postnatal guideline shows that, while going Baby Friendly has an initial cost implication (mainly to do with training and changes in procedures), this diminishes year on year. The report estimates that becoming Baby Friendly will start to save a facility money after three years, owing to a reduction in the incidence of certain childhood illnesses and that savings will increase thereafter as the costs of maintaining accreditation fall. In reality the potential cost savings will be much higher than the report suggests because breastfeeding protects both mothers and babies from a wide range of common illnesses, many involving life-long health care costs. The Staged Approach to assessment allows facilities to spread costs and enables better financial planning.
(1) NICE CG37 Postnatal care: national cost impact report