Please note: The Baby Friendly Initiative has recently published new standards which include accreditation for neonatal units. These will be introduced during 2013-14. Read the new standards to find out more.
The information below relates to the new guidance for best practice to support mothers and babies on the neonatal unit. Neonatal units will be able to apply to begin the accreditation process from 2014. We will introduce new materials and resources to support accreditation throughout 2013/14. Sign up for email reminders to keep informed of updates.
The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards for neonatal units were introduced in recognition of the need for clear guidance on what constitutes best practice for breastfeeding and relationship-building when babies are preterm or ill and separated from their mothers.
Stage 1: Building a firm foundation
1. Have written policies and guidelines to support the standards.
2. Plan an education programme that will allow staff to implement the standards according to their role.
3. Have processes for implementing, auditing and evaluating the standards.
4. Ensure that there is no promotion of breastmilk substitutes, bottles, teats or dummies in any part of the facility or by any of the staff.
Stage 2: An educated workforce
Educate staff to implement the standards according to their role and the service provided.
Stage 3: Parents’ experiences of neonatal units
1. Support parents to have a close and loving relationship with their baby.
2. Enable babies to receive breastmilk and to breastfeed when possible.
3. Value parents as partners in care.
For information about the Breastfeeding and lactation management for neonatal staff course, click here.
If you are interested in working towards Baby Friendly accreditation and wish to talk to a member of the Baby Friendly team about how the new standards may affect your planning, please contact us.