Maternity unit delivers with UNICEF baby friendly initiative
24 October 2019
The maternity unit at Southend University Hospital has been re-accredited as baby friendly by UNICEF, following an assessment which showed that best practice standards are in place.
The award is given to health facilities, hospitals and
universities after an assessment by a team from the United Nations
International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) is transforming healthcare
for babies, their mothers and families in the UK, as part of a
wider global partnership between the World Health Organization
(WHO) and UNICEF.
The BFI's work to support breastfeeding is based on
extensive evidence that breastfeeding saves lives and improves
Frances Royds, an Infant Feeding Advisor at Southend Hospital,
said:"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."
New mums are supported to make informed choices about feeding.
Mums who opt for breastfeeding are helped to overcome any
challenges and parents who choose formula feeding are supported
with information about choosing milks, making up feeds, feeding
safely and responsively.
The maternity unit support all families to develop close and
loving relationships with their new-born. Staff talk with expectant
mums and new parents about the importance of responsive feeding and
parenting which enhances bonding and reduces stress for parents and
Fellow Infant Feeding Advisor, Julie Newby, said:"We want the
best for parents and their babies and working within the framework
of Baby Friendly Initiative enhances the parents' experience. We
are so proud of the staff on the maternity unit who have worked
very hard to embed the UNICEF BFI standards in their practice and
deliver excellent infant feeding care and advice to families in our
area. We want to say a big thank you to all staff and parents who
helped us achieve this award."
The assessment will be conducted again in 2021 helping ensure
that the maternity unit consistently maintains high standards of
care for mothers and their babies.