Maternity services reassessed for Baby Friendly Award

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Marianne White (front, third left) with UNICEF assessors and staff from maternity services

NHS Tayside maternity services have received positive feedback following a visit from UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Initiative.

The UNICEF reassessment measured the skills and knowledge of health professionals in maternity services. The assessors also met mothers to hear about their personal experiences of care.

Following the visit, assessors reported that staff were well trained and knowledgeable, and provided kind woman-centred information and support around infant feeding.

The feedback from the women interviewed mentioned the “phenomenal care” they received and that even in busy times the women felt “doted on” and cared for by staff who went “above and beyond” to ensure the women were fully supported in their choice of infant feeding.

The Baby Friendly Initiative, which was 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.

Accreditation is based on a set of standards for maternity, health visiting, neonatal and children’s centre services.  The standards are designed to provide parents with the best possible care to build close and loving relationships with their baby and to feed their baby in ways which will support their health and development.

Services which meet the criteria for the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative and implement best practice standards receive the prestigious Baby Friendly Award, which is a nationally recognised mark of quality care.

NHS Tayside maternity services are already Baby Friendly fully accredited. This was a reassessment prior to going for the gold award. Assessors rated care within infant feeding very high and advised us to go for Gold award within six months.

Infant feeding advisor Marianne White, said, “We were pleased to welcome the UNICEF assessors and we were delighted to receive such positive feedback about our staff and the excellent care that they provide.

“NHS Tayside maternity services are already Baby Friendly fully accredited. This was a reassessment prior to going for the Gold Award.

“We are committed to ensuring that all mums and babies are supported to form a strong loving relationship whatever their choice of feeding method as this is the best start for every baby.

“Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes later in life.”

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