Spotlight on infant feeding care in England

A 2018 survey of infant feeding leads

Home > Spotlight on infant feeding care in England: Survey results

1 August 2018

Our new survey of health professionals across England highlights the urgent need for national leadership on infant feeding.

In 2016, the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative launched a Call to Action Campaign urging UK governments to enable mothers to give their babies the best possible start. In 2017, we published findings from a survey showing that there had been widespread cuts in services to support mothers. In 2018, we’re asking what impact this has had on maternity, community and neonatal services’ ability to implement evidence based care required to be recognised as Baby Friendly. This is what 111 infant feeding leads across England have told us.

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Spotlight on infant feeding care in England infographic

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Spotlight on infant feeding care infographic - printable

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Infant feeding care in England

Find out what infant feeding leads across England told us about supporting babies, their mothers and families.

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The results explained

All the Baby Friendly standards need to be implemented in order for families to
receive effective care – but the results show significant variation between standards, across maternity, community and neonatal services, and across different regions. The findings highlight the need for leadership at a national level to ensure consistency of care for all women.

  • Where the standards are new, they are prioritised by Trusts, making them easier to implement e.g. neonatal standards and specialist services.
  • Where the standards are already a part of normal care, they are easier to continue e.g. skin-to-skin.
  • Where the standards take extra time they are deprioritised due to a lack of resources, making them harder to implement e.g. antenatal conversations.
  • Where there is a lack of resources and staff time, as well as complex health needs, the standards are harder to implement even in a Baby Friendly accredited service.

Our Call to Action campaign urges UK governments to show national leadership to tackle these issues and improve infant feeding care for all families. Add your voice.