The Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organization and UNICEF. It was established in 1992 to encourage maternity hospitals to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and to practise in accordance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative was launched in the UK in 1994. Its principles were extended to cover the work of community health-care services in 1998 in the Seven Point Plan for Sustaining Breastfeeding in the Community. In 2005, it launched its set of University Best Practice Standards to accredit universities that run midwifery and health visiting courses.
The Baby Friendly Initiative works with the health-care system to ensure a high standard of care for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers and babies. Support is provided for health-care facilities that are seeking to implement best practice, and an assessment and accreditation process recognises those that have achieved the required standard.
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Donations to UNICEF UK do not fund the Baby Friendly Initiative, the expenses of the Baby Friendly Initiative are covered by the costs of training and assessment. No element of profit for UNICEF or the baby friendly initiative is included in these costs. © 2010 UNICEF UK.