Maternity and Neonatal teams achieve UNICEF accreditation for support offered to breastfeeding parents | Latest Maternity news

Maternity and Neonatal teams achieve UNICEF accreditation for support offered to breastfeeding parents

UHDB's teams have achieved Baby Friendly accreditation

UHDB's Maternity and Neonatal services have been recognised by the global children's wellbeing organisation, UNICEF, for their work in encouraging more parents to breastfeed their children and ensuring, when parents make an informed decision to use formula milk preparation, they do so safely.

Neonatal teams at Royal Derby Hospital and Queen's Hospital Burton have now achieved Stage 2 accreditation for their work ensuring colleagues have the relevant training to help families reach informed decisions on breastfeeding.

The Neonatal team's achievement followed the success of their colleagues in Maternity, who have been reaccredited as fully UNICEF UK Baby Friendly (BFI).

The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) was adopted in the UK in 1994. Their international programme provides an evidence-based approach to supporting breastfeeding and good infant nutrition, and helping parents develop close and loving relationships with their babies, in accordance with the WHO international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Re-accreditation consists of interviews with parents, families, staff, and managers to evidence how BFI standards are being maintained and embedded for the long-term.

Katy Thompson, UHDB's Lead Specialist Midwife for Infant Feeding, said: "This is a fantastic achievement for the teams and we're really proud to be championing the importance of breastfeeding and good infant nutrition for new parents and infants".

"Over the last few decades, the number of infants being breastfed around the world has been steadily falling, and we want to be sure that our parents understand the health and holistic benefits this can bring to them as a new family.

"To receive this national recognition for our work from UNICEF is a fantastic achievement and gives us the drive to continue our work in educating and supporting new parents."

To achieve re-accreditation, maternity teams underwent a robust assessment in which they had to meet UNICEF's strict standards, outlining a journey of sustainable improvements that support pregnant people and their families, to make an informed choice about feeding, get breastfeeding off to a good start and overcome parenting challenges. In addition, BFI helps new parents build a close and loving relationship with their baby. The assessment was led by the maternity infant feeding team, Nickki Porter, Hannah Goodwin, and Jessie Cuming.

Education of staff is key to ensuring that BFI approach is implemented, and that practice is improved. Our neonatal leads, Claire Shotter and Dally Holait-Bhogal, developed an excellent training package which ensured BFI's key learning outcomes were met and participants had an opportunity to discuss, question and unpick issues which will affect their day-to-day working environment.

Prior to the creation of UHDB in 2018, both Derby and Burton hospital trusts has achieved Stage 3 accreditation, with Katy adding that the team's motivation was to reach this level once more as a merged organisation:

"The infant feeding team have now been challenged to maintain their accreditation status and continue to implement Baby Friendly care in a way that is both effective in the short-term and sustainable over time. We're also working towards achieving Stage 3 accreditation for our Neonatal teams, with the aim being to achieve this in the next couple of years to further aid our parents and babies and give them the best possible start to life."

Find out more about the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative here (opens in new window) >

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