The Southern General Hospital has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and is the latest UK health care facility to win international recognition from UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund.) The award was presented at the Southern on Tues. April 08, 2003.
"We decided to join forces with UNICEF's Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers said Senior Midwifery Manager Lynn Wojciechowska.
Lynn added: "Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as allergies and diabetes in childhood. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother's risk of some cancers - although mums might be more interested in hearing that it's easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding."
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 the health service to improve the care provided for all mothers and babies. In the UK, the initiative works with health professionals to ensure that mothers and babies receive high-quality support to enable successful breastfeeding. The award is given to the Southern General after an assessment by an UNICEF team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.
"We are delighted that the Southern General Hospital has achieved full Baby Friendly status," said Programme Director, Andrew Radford. "Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don't always get the support they need. Mothers at the Southern can be confident that their midwives and health visitors will provide the highest standard of care."