County Health Partnerships, part of Nottinghamshire Healthcare, has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award from UNICEF.
The Trust's Infant Feeding service, together with Health Visiting and Children's Centre services, has completed five years of assessments to ensure it meets recognised UNICEF standards.
The award comes as the Trust begin to support National Breastfeeding Celebration Week, from 20 – 28 June. Activities are planned for across the Trust throughout the week.
The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI), set up by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, is a global programme aimed at protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding and strengthening mother, baby and family relationships. The initiative works with UK public services to provide a practical and effective way for healthcare services to improve the care provided for all mothers and their babies.
County Health Partnerships joined forces with UNICEF UK's Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and improve care for all mothers across Nottinghamshire.
Theresa Drozdowska, Infant Feeding Lead, said:“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; we also know that breastfeeding reduces a mother's risk of some cancers. However, mums might be more interested to hear that it is simply easier, cheaper and less hassle than bottle feeding!
“However a mother chooses to feed her baby, she can be sure that she will be supported by us to form a strong loving relationship with her baby. This happens through maximum skin-to-skin contact and understanding how her baby communicates with her and needs her to respond.”
Sue Ashmore, UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, added: “We are delighted that County Health Partnerships 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 across Nottinghamshire can now be confident that their Health Visitor and Children's Centres will provide high standards of care.”
The award will be formally presented by Dean Fathers, Chair of Nottinghamshire Healthcare, and Ruth Hawkins, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Healthcare, on 24 September at Duncan Macmillan House.
For more information on UNICEF Breastfeeding Initiative visit www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly