West Suffolk Hospital wins baby friendly award

Some of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation midwifery team
Some of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation midwifery team

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the internationally recognised Baby Friendly Award.

The Baby Friendly Initiative, founded by the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a global programme to improve the care provided for mothers and babies.

The initiative works with public services to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother, baby, and family bonds.

“As a Trust we are always looking at ways we can improve and enhance the care parents receive,” said Lynne Saunders, head of midwifery at WSFT

“Many of our parents understand that breastfeeding increases their baby’s protection against a range of serious illnesses and reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers. However, some of our mothers don’t have confidence in their capability to breastfeed and choose formula feeding, or very quickly introduce formula milk.

“The Baby Friendly Initiative was an obvious choice for us as it offered constructive guidance in enabling staff to promote a mother’s confidence to breastfeed, provide infant feeding support for all breast and formula feeding women, and encourage parents as they develop a strong, loving relationship with their baby.”

Achieving full accreditation involved a series of three stage assessment.

The assessment report said: “Mothers reported that the whole atmosphere at West Suffolk was calm and friendly. The team were very welcoming and all mothers reported that staff were kind and considerate, and that they were very happy with their care. The team achieved exceptional scores in this area.”

Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, Sue Ashmore, said: “We are delighted that West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has achieved full Baby Friendly status.

“Mothers at West Suffolk can be confident that their staff will provide high standards of care.”