Baby-Friendly is Best for Craigavon and Banbridge – and Armagh and Dungannon!
19/03/2014Community midwives, maternity support workers, health visitors and healthcare assistants in the Southern Trust’s Craigavon and Banbridge area have been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award.
Craigavon and Banbridge is the latest UK health care facility to win international recognition from UNICEF. Armagh and Dungannon has been re-accredited with the Baby Friendly Award.
Anne McVey, Assistant Director of Acute Services for Integrated Maternity and Women’s Health at the Trust, said: "UNICEF UK's Baby Friendly Initiative is a global programme to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers. I am delighted that this accreditation has been achieved in Craigavon and Banbridge. This is building upon on success of accreditation in Armagh and Dungannon.”
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 – although mums might be more interested in hearing that it is easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding,” adds Mrs McVey.
“But 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 respond.”
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.
In the UK, the initiative works with UK public services to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother-baby and family relationships. Support for these relationships is important for all babies, not only those who are breastfed. 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.
"We are delighted that the Southern Trust’s Craigavon and Banbridge area has achieved full Baby Friendly status," said Northern Ireland’s Regional Breastfeeding Coordinator Janet Calvert.
“Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers at Portadown Health Centre, Lurgan and Banbridge Health and Social Services Centres, Brownlow and Gilford Health Centres and Dromore Clinic can be confident that their midwives/health visitors will provide high standards of care.”