The high standards of care which breastfeeding mothers receive from West Suffolk Hospital have been recognised after the trust was awarded an upgrade to its “baby friendly” status.
The hospital has been awarded stage two baby friendly status by UNICEF (United Nation’s Children’s Fund) for the support it offers parents to help them make informed decisions about feeding their babies.
To achieve the status, the hospital had to demonstrate that the right training and education is in place to give staff the necessary practical skills and knowledge to successfully support breastfeeding mothers.
The hospital hopes to achieve stage three – the final milestone – by August next year. To gain the status, parents using the hospital’s maternity and neonatal services will be asked their opinions about the care they have received.
Bernadine Bramble, general manager for women and children at the hospital said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have achieved this important status, which shows that parents who have their babies at the hospital are receiving the right help to make sure their children get the best possible start in life.
“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. It can also help protect mum too, by reducing the risk of some cancers.
“But breastfeeding isn’t always easy and lots of new mothers need support. We’re committed to making sure they get the help they need and are pleased that has been recognised by UNICEF.”
For more information about the Baby Friendly initiative, visit www.babyfriendly.org.uk