Flying Start Children’s centre are supporting infant feeding through the Baby Friendly Initiative

Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life followed by the introduction of healthy solid foods. In the UK less than 1% of babies are exclusively breastfed until 6 months. Furthermore studies show that 80% of women stop breastfeeding before they want to and could have continued with more support.

The baby friendly accreditation programme has been shown internationally to be effective at increasing breastfeeding rates and is the gold standard for services providing breast feeding support. The programme supports services to implement evidence-based policy and practice to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, and strengthen mother baby and family relationships, whether breastfeeding or not. The standards aim to ensure that staff are trained and able to ensure parents experiences include:

  • support during pregnancy to recognise the importance of early relationships to the health and wellbeing of their baby
  • protection and support of breastfeeding in all areas of the service, and
  • being supported to have a close and loving relationship with their baby

Flying Start Children’s Centre will work closely with Cambridge Community Services Health Visiting Team to work towards implementing Baby Friendly standards. Becoming Baby Friendly accredited will further expand their role in supporting breastfeeding and very early years development. The journey towards Baby Friendly accreditation is significant and will involve training, audit, implementing changes and thorough evaluation to ensure the standards are being met. For more information on the Baby Friendly Initiative visit https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/what-is-baby-friendly/

For further information contact Louise Morrissey, Flying Start Diet and Nutrition Lead at louise.morrissey@pre-school.org.uk

References

In 2010 in England, McAndrew F, Thompson J, Fellows L, Large A, Speed M, Renfrew MJ (2012) Infant Feeding Survey 2010, Health and Social Care Information Centre http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/health-and-lifestyles-relatedsurveys/infant-feeding-survey/infant-feeding-survey-2010

Unicef UK (2013) The Evidence and Rationale for the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative Standards http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Research/baby_friendly_evidence_rationale.pdf