Thank you for joining the 2021 Virtual Neonatal Conference

A message from Sue Ashmore, UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Programme Director

Home > Thank you for joining the 2021 Virtual Neonatal Conference

The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly team would like to extend a huge thank you to all the delegates and speakers who attended our Virtual Neonatal Conference on 15th June 2021. This was our third-ever neonatal conference, and we were overwhelmed with nearly 1,000 delegates in attendance.

This year we saw a fantastic line-up of international speakers come together – from Colombia to Sweden to right here in the UK – in order to share the latest research and practice innovations in relation to neonatal care and the Baby Friendly Initiative standards for neonatal units. We heard a series of incredibly moving presentations on a range of topics, including the inspiring resilience of neonatal units during Covid-19, the importance of the ‘birthday cuddle’ for extremely preterm babies, and the need to consider infant mental health in a neonatal context.

Speakers also shared with us the latest research and evidence on human milk, epigenetics, and the microbiome, as well as the importance of early maternal breastmilk in improving survival outcomes for preterm infants. Delegates were provided with an update on the implementation of the NHS England and NHS Improvement Neonatal Critical Care Review, and listened as one unit shared their journey to Baby Friendly Gold accreditation.

The Baby Friendly team would also like to thank delegates for keeping up with the event on our social media pages as it was live-Tweeted throughout the day. We particularly enjoyed hearing your take-home messages from the conference, including Renée Flacking’s inspiring phrase of “Transferring goodness”, Dr Nathalie Charpak’s likening of kangaroo care to “Brain surfactant”, and Louise Rattenbury’s lovely quote on her service’s journey to Gold: “Good leadership underpins good culture. Within the team it is important that everybody is empowered to lead. It is not about one person – it is a team approach.”

Lastly, we would like to extend a huge thanks to you all for your support of Baby Friendly in what has been a particularly challenging time – you all work so incredibly hard supporting families in numerous different ways and we hope the conference was a chance to celebrate your success and find the inspiration to move forward.

If you missed any of the talks or would like to watch again, remember that all the recordings have been made available to delegates on-demand until 5pm 30 June 2021 on the event webpage. Please see your post-conference email for more details on this, as well as for your certificate, handout and evaluation link. We hope to publish a selection of speaker recordings from the event on the Baby Friendly website, so please check back shortly for announcements on this.

We hope to see you all at our 23rd Annual Conference taking place later this year on 24th November 2021. The event will be taking place online and the speaker line-up will be announced shortly, so keep an eye on the Baby Friendly website and social media pages, or sign up to receive our news mailings.

Wishing you all the very best.

Sue Ashmore

Programme Director, UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative

 For anyone leading on Baby Friendly in the UK – join the more than 270 members currently enrolled in the Neonatal National Infant Feeding Network (Neonatal NIFN). For more information and to join, email the Baby Friendly office at:


Baby Friendly Initiative Conferences

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