Health visitors, nursery nurses and Early Years teams who work for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) have been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award.
The staff from RDaSH’s Children Young People and Families service are the latest UK health care workers to win international recognition from UNICEF (United Nation’s Children’s Fund).
“We decided to join forces with UNICEF UK’s Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers,” said Katie Simpson, RDaSH’s Project Support Manager.
“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,” added Katie. “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.”
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 organisations after an assessment by a UNICEF team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.
“We are delighted that RDaSH has achieved full Baby Friendly status,” said Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, Sue Ashmore. “Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers in Doncaster can be confident that their health visitors, nursery nurses and Early Years teams will provide high standards of care.”
RDaSH are always looking for peer support workers who are mums or grandmas who have breast fed and are willing to support other mums. If anyone feels they would like to volunteer please call Lizzie Ette on 01302 721369.