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November 11, 2003 9:59 AM

Only two years after opening its doors North Glasgow's Princess Royal Maternity (PRM) has been awarded the prestigious UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation.

The Baby Friendly initiative aims to ensure that all parents are helped to make informed choices about feeding and caring for their babies.

The PRM has successfully adopted UNICEF's standards and changed the way care is provided to expectant and new mums.

"It's all about ensuring that mothers have all the facts and positive encouragement so they can make educated decisions and ensuring that they are supported before, during and after pregnancy," said Sharon Smith, Clinical Nurse Manager at the


Sharon continued: "We have gone to great lengths to ensure that breastfeeding information, education and support is provided to our patients in the right way. Every single member of nursing staff at the hospital, from midwifes to nursing auxiliaries, received extensive training on how best to offer information and support to parents."

From their first ante-natal appointment at the PRM expectant mums are given all the facts and told of the benefits provided by breast milk so they can make their own choices based on useful information and advice.

Breastfeeding brings many benefits to mothers and babies.  In babies, it can protect against chest and ear infections, gastro-enteritis and can aid better mental development.  Mothers benefit from a lower risk of ovarian and breast cancer plus a faster return to pre-pregnancy figure.

As a result of this on-going work at the PRM breastfeeding rates have significantly improved in the hospital's catchment area.


"If Mums have better access to information they are more likely to think carefully before making decisions about feeding their babies.  Those who choose to breastfeed are given skilled and practical support helping to make the experience a good and successful one," added Sharon.

At the PRM new mums can expect:

  • full discussion about caring for and feeding their baby,
  • to be given the baby to hold against their skin straight after he or she is born for as long as they want – this helps to give mums time to bond with the baby, keeps the baby warm and calm and also regulates their breathing,
  • a midwife will show mums how to hold and position the baby on the breast helping them to attach and ensure feeding is not painful,
  • a midwife will also offer to show mums how to express milk by hand, and also,
  • new mums are encouraged to feed their baby ‘on demand'. This involves teaching mums the telltale signs of a baby's hunger so she knows when to start feeding. 

The support doesn't just stop after babies are born.  Parents can access a network of support options either through the PRMs in-house breastfeeding workshop or from the hospital's links with local breastfeeding volunteers throughout the community.

Margaret Smith, North Glasgow Trust's Director of Nursing said: "We are delighted to have achieved full baby friendly status especially given our move from Rottenrow only two years ago. 

"So much hard work has gone into achieving the accreditation by every member of staff and the fact that breastfeeding rates have already increased in our area is testament to our efforts - particularly as the hospital serves seven out of Glasgow's 10 most deprived areas.

"I think our achievement of this accreditation is evident of the dedication of staff in promoting the public health agenda in midwifery - bringing benefits to mums, dads and Greater Glasgow's next generation of children."

The hospital received the award following a UNICEF assessment ensuring best practice standards are in place.



Notes to Editors:


Images available on request.

For further information please contact Emma Gregory on 0141 201 3964

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015