Baby friendly is best for Whittington Health

02 Mar 2018

Whittington Health has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award

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Whittington Health has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and is the latest UK Trust to win international recognition from Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund).

“We decided to join forces with Unicef UK's Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and improve care for all mothers under the care of our health visiting team. Being given this award is a huge testament to the staff who have worked tirelessly to achieve baby friendly status” said Neeta Patel, clinical director for Children’s Services at Whittington Health.

“Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as reducing incidence of asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later life. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of certain cancers. In addition it is easier and much cheaper than bottle feeding”, added Neeta.

“However a mother chooses to feed her baby, she can be sure that she will be supported by our health visitors to form a strong loving relationship with her newborn – through having maximum 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, is a global programme which provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care provided for all mothers and babies. In the UK, the initiative works with UK 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 trusts after an assessment by a Unicef team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.

“We are delighted that Whittington Health has achieved full Baby Friendly status”, said Baby Friendly Initiative programme director, Sue Ashmore. “Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers at Whittington Health can be confident that their health visitors will provide high standards of care.”

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