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What happened at the UNICEF BFI Conference?

Posted on: 18 January 2023

“…An excellent opportunity to learn about various aspects of child health” is an example of the positive feedback from Care Group 0-19 (children’s services) colleagues who attended the virtual UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) Conference on 23-24 November 2022. 

The conference was streamed for 0-19 (children’s services) colleagues and was an excellent opportunity for people to boost their knowledge about aspects of child health and to hear from some very experienced healthcare professionals who delivered inspiring and educational presentations.

Having the conference as a virtual event allowed viewers to rewatch the conference at a more convenient time. General feedback from the conference showed that attendees thought all the presentations were full of valuable knowledge, but in particular, the presentation on Safer Sleep by Helen Ball resonated. 

A community staff nurse colleague commented: “This was a very important topic for me. Helen excellently provided up to date, evidence-based information on how we can support families with safer sleep. The topic acknowledged the potential poor outcome that can arise from unsafe sleep practices in the home."

“Helen was able to provide key knowledge for how we can support families with keeping their babies safe during sleeping times, the presentation was suitable for all professionals who may be working with these families and was adaptable to different roles, allowing professionals to raise awareness of this when meeting with families.”

Further positive feedback centred around a presentation by Nigel Rollins who covered how marketing influences on infant feeding has impact. The presenter carefully focused on the challenges associated with the marketing of infant feeding and how this impacts mothers’ decisions. 

“The presenter spoke of health professionals generally using language that focuses on the rational mind and how marketing focuses on the emotional mind, thus opening up conversation to the wording used in products, i.e ‘sensitive and comforting’, ‘for the premium baby’. Following this presentation, I feel more encouraged to consider the language I am using when discussing feeding with parents.”

“Attending this conference has given me new ideas on communicating with families specifically on the topics of safer sleep and infant feeding choices. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of watching the conference.”