Tuesday 14 June 2016


Committed to giving children the best possible start in life, the University of Northampton’s pre-registration midwifery programme is delighted to have received full accreditation for ‘The Baby Friendly Initiative’– to date one of only 18 university midwifery programmes in the UK to achieve such recognition.

Baby Friendly Initiative logoThe UK Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide accreditation programme of UNICEF and the World Health Organization. The standards are aimed at midwifery and health nurse education courses, and were developed to ensure that newly qualified midwives and health visitors are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively support infant feeding and parent-infant relationships.

Tracey Barnfather, Principal Lecturer for Midwifery at the University of Northampton explained: “By fully integrating the Baby Friendly learning outcomes within our curriculum we aim to prepare our students to support all mothers to make informed feeding choices for their babies, regardless of their choice of feeding method, and to sensitively encourage new parent-infant relations.

“The curriculum we have developed here at the University of Northampton demonstrates unique approaches to teaching students breastfeeding skills and management. Mothers and babies will receive better care as a result of this work, which directly supports the University’s Changemaker + Challenges.

The University of Northampton’s accreditation as a Baby Friendly University programme took place over two stages. Stage 1 was achieved in 2013; Stage 2 assessed student knowledge and skills via face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of senior midwifery students who have attended the full education programme to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively support breastfeeding within their practice.

The UK Baby Friendly Initiative 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 in order to improve breastfeeding rates throughout the world. The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative subsequently extended the principles to include community healthcare services and university programmes for midwifery and health visiting/public health nursing.


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