Baby Friendly Award delivered to Southend Hospital
31 October 2016
The Maternity Unit at Southend University Hospital has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and is the latest UK health care facility to win international recognition from UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund).
The Award is given to health facilities, hospitals and
universities after an assessment by a UNICEF team has shown that
recognised best practice standards are in place.
The hospital joined Unicef UK's Baby Friendly Initiative to
increase breastfeeding rates and improve care for all mothers at
Southend. 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.
Julie Newby, Infant Feeding Advisor at the hospital, said: "We
would like to thank everyone for their hard work, encouragement and
commitment to gain this award. Achieving this is evidence that we
have improved the care for all mothers and babies within Maternity
"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 the mother's
risk of some cancers.
"However a mother chooses to feed her baby, she can be sure that
she will be supported 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
Sue Ashmore, Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, said:
"We are delighted that Southend Hospitalhas achieved full Baby
Friendly status. Surveys show us that most mothers want to
breastfeed but don't always get the support they need. Mothers at
Southend can be confident that their midwives will provide high
standards of care."