Background knowledge and practical skills

Effective staff training is essential for Baby Friendly accreditation but many health-care facilities report difficulties in developing appropriate curricula. The Baby Friendly Initiative's course in breastfeeding and lactation management for neonatal staff is designed to provide neonatal staff with the background knowledge and practical skills they need in order to support mothers to initiate and maintain lactation within the neonatal setting. There will be a strong focus on the importance of family-centred care with reference to the NHS Toolkit for High Quality Neonatal Services and the BLISS Baby Charter Standards.

Click here to see the course aims and objectives.

Who is this course for?

The course is suitable for all staff working within neonatal and transitional care units. Other staff who may be charged with training this group of staff may also find the course useful.

Practical skills reviews

The course incorporates four practical skill elements which should be completed after attendance on the course. These can be incorporated into the daily care plan for mothers and babies and will help link theory to practice within the clinical area.

The course is taught in two ways: as an in-house course, where a trust hosts the course for up to 20 of its staff, and as an open course, where individuals attend a course hosted by the Baby Friendly Initiative.

In-house courses

This is the most economical way of accessing this course. Training is provided on the trust's own premises for up to 20 staff. The 2014 price is £5,800.

The course may be used in different ways. Some trusts send all their staff on the course, while others choose to hold the course jointly with another facility. Some host the course (sometimes more than once) and then use some or all of the staff who have attended it to run in-house training for their colleagues. To discuss holding the course for your staff or area, please call the Baby Friendly Initiative on 020 7375 6052 or e-mail us at

Open courses

These are open to anyone and are held at central locations (see the booking form for details). An individual place costs £410 (2014 price). 

You can book a place on an open course through our online booking system or by using our open course booking form: 2014 or 2015.

Full open course listings including dates, venue, and exact availability can be found here. New open courses are listed here as soon as they are available for booking.

Please note that our services are usually booked up several months in advance and your first preferred date may not always be available.