The Trust's Children and Young People's Service has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Reaccreditation Award, becoming the latest UK healthcare facility to win international recognition from Unicef.
"We decided to join forces with Unicef UK's Baby Friendly Ini tiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers across Nottinghamshire" explained Alison Jee, Infant Feeding Lead.
"Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses, including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later life" adds Theresa Drozdowska, also Infant Feeding Lead at the Trust. "We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers; although mums might be more interested to hear that it is easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding!
“But however a mother chooses to feed her baby, she can be sure that she will be supported to form a strong loving relationship with her newborn, through skin to skin contact and understanding how her baby communicates with her and needs her to respond.”
The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by Unicef and the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a global programme which provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care they provide for all mothers and babies.
In the UK, the initiative works with public services to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother baby and family relationships. Support for these relationships is important for all babies, not only those who are breastfed. The Award is given to health facilities after an assessment by a Unicef team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.
Sue Ashmore, Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director said "We are delighted that Nottinghamshire Healthcare has achieved full Baby Friendly status. Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers in Nottinghamshire can be confident that their health visitors and Children’s Centre staff will provide high standards of care.”