Baby Friendly accreditation is based on a set of interlinking evidence-based standards for maternity, health visiting, neonatal and children’s centres services.
These are designed to provide parents with the best possible care to build close and loving relationships with their baby and to feed their baby in ways which will support optimum health and development. Facilities implement the standards in stages over a number of years. At each stage they are externally assessed by Unicef UK. When all the stages are passed they are accredited as Baby Friendly, and will ultimately go on to a Gold award and achieving sustainability, embedding the standards permanently. Award tables are kept to let the public know how facilities are progressing.
Unicef UK also run a Baby Friendly programme for universities. Evidence based learning outcomes support midwifery and health visiting departments to ensure that their courses equip newly qualified midwives and health visitors to implement the Baby Friendly standards in the workplace. Universities implement the standards in stages and it is the course that is accredited as Baby Friendly.
Read more in the Guide to the Baby Friendly Standards and the transition document: Moving from the current to the new Baby Friendly Standards.