Staff at Leighton Hospital’s Maternity Unit are working hard to develop the important relationship between mother and baby, according to a recent UNICEF accreditation.
The Baby Friendly Initiative, established by UNICEF in conjunction with the World Health Organisation, is a global programme which provides practical and effective support for healthcare organisations to improve the care provided for all mothers and babies. In the UK, the initiative works with health professionals to ensure that high-quality support is provided to mothers to enable successful breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious infections and diseases, both now and in the future, and additionally helps to lower the mother’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Importantly, it also helps to build a strong physical and emotional bond between mother and baby.
Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Leighton Hospital, recently underwent a two-day assessment against the Stage Two standards of the Initiative and passed each of the nine criteria unconditionally with an average score of 93.5%.
Pam Cornwall, Head of Midwifery at the Trust, said: “I am delighted that we have been awarded this next stage accreditation, particularly as we passed three categories with 100% and four more with scores above 90%.
“The whole team here have been fantastic in their work to increase the number of mothers choosing to breastfeed their babies, and this is the first time that the hospital has been accredited at this level within the Baby Friendly Initiative.
“It is an exciting time for the Maternity Unit here at Leighton Hospital. As well as receiving the Baby Friendly accreditation, we were also awarded the Cherubs Charter earlier this year, meaning that our areas are breastfeeding-friendly. Additionally, our refurbished Labour Ward and Midwifery-Led Unit opened 12 months ago, and work is currently underway to provide us with a new Postnatal Ward alongside our charity-funded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”
Baby Friendly Initiative
More information regarding the Baby Friendly Initiative is available online at www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly.
For further information on the Cherubs Charter, please visit www.cherubsbreastfeeding.co.uk.