New research shows the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative offers comprehensible, manageable and meaningful support for staff and service users, strengthened by effective local leadership and a team approach
A new critical ethnographic study explores the cultural influences of the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards, with key findings supporting the provision of positive infant feeding care and experiences. The results of the study offer health policy makers and managers of change insight into the implementation, adoption and maintenance of health interventions and how they impact service users.
A total of 21 staff and 26 service users located in a maternity service in England participated in the study by engaging in moderate-level participant observation and/or guided interviews and conversations over a period of eight weeks between 2011 and 2017.
Key findings concluded that the services have the potential to transform organisational cultures by balancing rational health policies and interventions, such as the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, alongside relational approaches.
The study further concludes:
The Baby Friendly Initiative enables ‘informational’ (comprehensible), ‘practical’ (manageable) and ‘emotional’ (meaningful) support for both staff and service users. This is strengthened by effective, local leadership and a team approach. It is crucial that ongoing infant feeding policy, leadership and practice balance relational and rational approaches to generate positive infant feeding care provision and experiences.
Article citation: UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative: Providing, receiving and leading infant feeding care in a hospital maternity setting—A critical ethnography. Matern Child Nutr. 2021;e13114. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.13114, , , .