The WWL Way
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Baby Friendly is best

Newsdate: 13 November 2015

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) and Bridgewater Community Health Care NHS Foundation Trust (Bridgewater) have been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and are the latest UK health care facilities to win international recognition from Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund). The Award will be presented by Professor Kate Arden (Director of Public Health at Wigan Council) on 16 November 2015 at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.

"We decided to join forces with Unicef UK's Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers at WWL and Bridgewater,” said Kathryn Ashton and Sharon Brown Infant Feeding Coordinators at the respective organisations.

"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,” added Kathryn and Sharon. “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 new-born.  This is 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 and hospitals after an assessment by a Unicef team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.

"We are delighted that WWL and Bridgewater 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 can be confident that their midwives/health visitors at WWL and Bridgewater will provide high standards of care.”