UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative

Find out more about Unicef Baby Friendly, the progress Suffolk is making and how parents can support us with this.

The Baby Friendly Initiative is part of a wider global partnership between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Unicef. It enables public services to better support families with feeding and developing close, loving relationships, ensuring that all babies get the best possible start in life.

The Baby Friendly's staged accreditation programme supports maternity, neonatal, health visiting and children’s centre services to transform their care. They are also working with universities to ensure that newly qualified midwives and health visitors have the strong foundation of knowledge needed to care for families.

The Baby Friendly programme works to improve child nutrition, health and development by working with a range of health professionals and students to raise standards of care for babies, their mothers and families.

Suffolk County Council are implementing Baby Friendly best practice standards as we are committed to improving the standards of care provided by our Health Visiting teams and Children's Centres.


Our health visiting and children’s centre staff receive Breastfeeding and Relationship Building training developed by UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Initiative programme in order to provide evidence based, skilled and sensitive infant feeding advice and support to families.

Having successfully completed stage 1 and stage 2, we are currently working towards stage 3 accreditation. Click or tap here to find out more information.

We are required to complete regular audits, asking a number of breastfeeding and formula feeding mothers about their views and experiences of the care and service they have received during their pregnancies and since the birth of their babies.

You may be contacted by one of our staff and we would be very grateful if you would be prepared to answer some questions taking around 30 to 40 minutes, at a time that is convenient to you. We wish to reassure you that the information you provide will be treated confidentially and will remain anonymous with no personal information recorded.

We use the Smart Survey method and will add the general locality in which you live (e.g. Ipswich, West Suffolk etc), your baby’s age in weeks, if you have any other children and your feeding method. We will be talking to mothers across Suffolk and use all the answers together to identify what is working well and what we could do better.

The staff member who contacts you may be a Health Visitor, Community Staff Nurse, Healthy Child Practitioner or Infant Feeding Coordinator employed by Suffolk County Council. Please note we will only share specific information with statutory agencies, if you or your baby need urgent help or are in danger.    

We will value your help and contribution to this stage of our accreditation and will use the insight we gain to improve and enhance the care and support we provide to Suffolk families.

Please click on this link for details of how the Baby Friendly Initiative helps to support parents