Health visitors from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are calling for more mothers in Derby to consider breastfeeding their new-borns, after receiving a prestigious award from Unicef, the world's leading organisation for children.
Our Health Visiting Service has been presented with the Baby Friendly Initiative Award for its clear efforts in supporting local mothers to breastfeed and, by doing so, building parent-infant relationships. The award was given to the Trust following a rigorous two day assessment by a Unicef team which showed that global evidence-based best practice standards were in place. The award will be re-assessed in April 2017.
The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by Unicef, 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 maternity hospitals, health visiting services and universities 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.
Derbyshire Healthcare joined forces with Unicef's Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates in Derby, enabling mothers to continue for as long as they choose, and to improve care for all local mothers. As a result, during the last 12 months the our health visitors have noticed a significant increase in the number of mothers breastfeeding in the city.
Sue Earnshaw, Health Visiting Service Manager for Derbyshire Healthcare, said: “We are delighted that Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has achieved full Baby Friendly Initiative Accreditation status – something not all organisations achieve at the first attempt. Breastfeeding is an important factor in the development of new-borns, helping to protect 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. Just as importantly, it helps mothers build strong and loving relationships with their new-born. This accreditation should give local mothers confidence that our health visitor service provides the highest standards of care and will support her however she chooses to feed her new-born baby.”