HOSPITALS in South Warwickshire are baby friendly – and that’s official.
South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has been awarded the Baby Friendly Award Accreditation and has gained recognition from the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) Baby Friendly Initiative.
The initiative is a global programme which aims to transform healthcare for babies, their mothers and families as part of a wider global partnership between UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The programme supports maternity, neonatal, health visiting and children’s centre services to transform their care and works with universities to ensure newly qualified midwives and health visitors have the strong foundation of knowledge needed to support families.
The award is given to health hospitals after an assessment by a UNICEF UK team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.
Lin Ward, acting associate director of midwifery, said: “This award is a credit to our trust’s dedication to provide expert infant feeding support and improve care for all babies and mothers.
“At SWFT we set out to ensure that all mothers and babies are supported to form a close and loving relationship – whatever their choice of feeding method – as this is the best start for every baby.”
Breastfeeding has a variety of health benefits for baby and mother. It can protect babies against a wide range of serious illnesses, including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy, as well as cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes and obesity later in life. It also helps to reduce the mother’s risk of some cancers, and supports the mental health of both mother and baby.
UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Deputy Programme Director, Anne Wood, was delighted to see SWFT achieve full baby friendly status.
She added: “Our work to support breastfeeding is based on extensive and resounding evidence that breastfeeding saves lives, improves health and cuts costs in every country worldwide. Mothers at South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust can be confident that their midwives will provide high standards of care.”