What is the Baby friendly Initiative?
The UK Baby Friendly Initiative is based on a global accreditation programme of Unicef and the World Health Organisation. It is designed to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and to strengthen parent and infant relationships by working with public services to improve standards of care. Developing these relationships is important for all babies not just those who are breastfed.
Facilities, including maternity services, Children Centre services, higher education institutions and other health care facilities who meet the Baby Friendly standards are accredited following an assessment by a team from Unicef.
What does this mean for the Health visiting service?
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) has worked towards becoming a fully accredited Unicef UK Baby Friendly service and in March 2020, HCT achieved the highest award as a Gold Baby Friendly service. Our achieving sustainability (Gold) award celebrates excellent and sustained practice in the support of infant feeding and parent-infant relationships, and the Trust is audited annually to ensure the maintenance of our accreditation.
Keeping your baby close and responding to their needs will help your baby to grow physically and emotionally.
Skin contact in the early days and beyond will encourage healthy brain development. Most of this development occurs in the first two years of your baby’s life. When babies have lots of cuddles and love you both release a hormone called Oxytocin. This helps you both feel happy, calm and provides the foundation for a close and loving relationship.
RESPONDING to your baby’s needs for comfort and food helps with your baby’s brain development and makes for a confident happy toddler.
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust is committed to improving standards of care by implementing the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly standards. These standards are designed to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and close and loving parent-infant relationships.
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