How the Baby Friendly Initiative supports formula feeding parents
The Baby Friendly standards are designed to support the wellbeing and life chances of all babies, whether breast or bottle fed. Whilst breastfeeding is the best option for babies, and we work to support mothers to breastfeed, we also work to ensure that all babies receive high standards of care and the best possible chance to thrive regardless of feeding type.
For bottle fed babies, this work includes:
- Enabling closeness between parents and their baby, which supports brain development and mental health
- Helping parents to choose an infant formula, make up feeds and avoid over feeding
- Supporting parents to lower costs
- Protecting families from commercial interests and advocating for the rights of all babies at a governmental level.
All maternity and community services which are accredited as Baby Friendly must demonstrate that their staff support families who bottle feed. The following statement, published in January 2017 and available for download below, will explain this work in more detail, and help health professionals to demonstrate the impact of the Baby Friendly standards on the welfare of both breast and bottle fed babies.
Vitamin D supplementation for breastfed babies
In November 2016 we updated our statement on Vitamin D supplementation in light of new recommendations from The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition for the whole population, including new-born babies. It is now recommended that everyone over one year of age should take a 10µg/d vitamin D supplement daily and, as a precaution, breastfed babies from birth up to one year of age also be given a supplement of 8.5 to10µg/d vitamin D per day. Babies who are formula fed do not require vitamin D if they are having 500ml/day of infant formula or more, as infant formula already has added vitamin D.
Co-sleeping in light of NICE guidance
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued updated guidelines on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and co-sleeping (sleeping with a baby on a bed, sofa or arm-chair). This update forms part of NICE guidance 37: Routine Postnatal Care of Women and their Babies (NICE, 2014).
Unicef UK issued a statement in December 2014, for download below, which updates previous statements on bed-sharing and co-sleeping made by the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative.
Will working with a breast pump company affect our Baby Friendly status?
Working with Unicef UK receives many queries from concerned health professionals about whether or not it is acceptable to work with companies that sell breast pumps. The reason for this concern is that many of these companies also sell feeding bottles and teats, thereby bringing them within the scope of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (the Code). This statement is designed to guide organisations and individual health professionals in their relations with breast pump companies.
The statement, published in January 2015, provides full information on whether working with a breastpump company will affect a service’s Baby Friendly status.
The provision of infant formula at food banks
Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative has received a number of queries regarding the provision of infant formula to parents of babies when accessing food banks. After consultation with relevant experts and organisations a statement was produced in April 2014, which organisations are welcome to use as the basis for their own policies and guidelines.