Breastfeeding and Relationship Building Course

For health professionals

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The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Breastfeeding and Relationship course has undergone a review and refresh to include the latest emerging evidence around infant feeding, relationship building, and how best to provide support in an ever changing environment for health services in the UK.

The updated course is suitable for all health professionals, such as midwifes, health visitors and dietitians. The learning may also be helpful for any others working to support babies and mothers. As well as providing detailed guidance on establishing and continuing breastfeeding and developing close and loving parent-infant relationships, the course takes a holistic view of the family’s journey through pregnancy, birth and the important days, weeks and months post-birth which have such a significant impact on future health and wellbeing.

The particular influences and pressures that new parents are exposed to within the UK cultural context will be explored, and participants will be encouraged to consider issues such as informed decision making about feeding and the importance of adopting a non-judgemental approach without undermining breastfeeding. Responsive parenting for all babies regardless of feeding method will be a theme throughout, and participants will look at ways to protect and maximise breastmilk if parents are combination or mixed feeding and to enable safer and more responsive bottle feeding. Consideration will also be given to emerging evidence around the human microbiome and epigenetics and the potential impact this may have on current and future health. The course is designed to encourage discussion and interaction and will include a variety of different training approaches to meet the needs of different learning styles.

Please note: this updated course replaces the previous Breastfeeding and Relationship Building courses for maternity and health visiting staff. Completion of this course does not equate to a formal qualification in infant feeding support.

Accessing the course

We are currently unable to conduct face-to-face training due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic and will be running our courses virtually – please see our courses page for important information on virtual training, including technological requirements, course availability and booking.

The Breastfeeding and Relationship Building Course consists of two parts:

  • Part 1: E-learning & observing a breastfeed and
  • Part 2: Two virtually taught days

As each part of the programme builds on previous content, it is very important for your overall learning experience that you complete all of the elements.

In-house courses

Virtual in-house training can be provided for up to 12 staff members. For more information, please email the Baby Friendly office at

Open courses

To book, please visit our courses page which includes important information on  technological requirements and course availability. For any queries, please contact the Baby Friendly office at

Excellent course with lots of knowledge gained. Workbook is a great asset to the course to take away and be able to use in the workplace and share with colleagues ... knowledge of the trainers was a benefit to all attendees.
Course participant

Find out more

Breastfeeding and relationship building workbook

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Guide to the Baby Friendly Initiative Standards

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Evidence and rationale for the Baby Friendly Standards

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