The Baby Friendly Initiative University Standards programme is an accreditation programme aimed at university departments responsible for midwifery and health visitor/public health nurse education. It ensures that newly qualified midwives and health visitors are equipped with the basic knowledge and skills they need to support breastfeeding effectively.
An increasing number of universities are now seeing the benefits of achieving Unicef UK Baby Friendly accreditation for their midwifery or health visitor/public health nurse programmes:
- It raises the profile of infant feeding and enables it to be given a strong focus in the programmes.
- It helps to raise the profile of universities, both with the Trusts who commission their services and with students deciding where to apply
- The journey to accreditation helps develop good links with the practice placement areas
- Implementing the Baby Friendly learning outcomes will assist with meeting the NMC skills clusters requirements for those involved with student midwife education
- Students’ confidence in supporting mothers increases as does their employability, as Trusts recognise the benefit of engaging staff who do not need further infant feeding training.
To start your university’s journey to accreditation, see our guidance on implementing the Baby Friendly university standards. You may also want to start thinking about attending Baby Friendly training.