GLASGOW is looking forward to healthier generations, thanks to this week's launch of new guidelines for infant nutrition.
Mums and babies, health staff and other guests gathered at Glasgow Caledonian University to find out more about NHS Greater Glasgow's new Infant Feeding Policies and Guidelines for Health Professionals.
The extensive document is designed to ensure good professional practice and fully support the infant feeding choices of mothers and families, regardless of where in the city they access healthcare.
Rosslyn Crocket, Nurse Director for NHS Greater Glasgow, said of the new guidelines: "We believe that all mothers have the right to make fully informed choices about feeding and caring for their babies. The provision of clear evidence-based information for all mothers at the appropriate time is crucial."
She added: "For the first time our health professionals can share a comprehensive guide to infant nutrition which is inclusive of breastfeeding, formula feeding and weaning – a key achievement not only in Glasgow, but across the UK."
Rosslyn went on to explain that since the Scottish Executive raised awareness in 1998 of the importance of general infant feeding guidelines, NHS Greater Glasgow formed its own breast feeding strategy group. This multi-disciplinary team of professionals, who specialise in the care of mothers and babies, worked in conjunction with parents and voluntary groups to achieve the best possible results.
Rosslyn added: "And now, despite Scotland having one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, Glasgow has not only increased breastfeeding numbers, but all three of its maternity units have achieved UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation.
"In addition, Anniesland, Bearsden and Milngavie LHCC has become the only Local Health Care Co-operative in Scotland to be accredited as Baby Friendly, and we have several others working towards this."
Research shows that adequate nutrition from conception has major health benefits beyond infancy and into adulthood. It is deemed fundamental to the development of children so they are able to reach their full potential.
Rosslyn went on: "From birth to the age of two is a critical window for the promotion of optimal health.
"Children represent the future of Glasgow and these guidelines have been produced with the intention that young children will have the best possible start in life."
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