Posted: August 26 2016
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust’s health visiting service and Hertfordshire County Council’s children’s centres are celebrating after passing stage two of the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Accreditation.
The Baby Friendly Programme is based on a set of standards designed to provide parents with the best possible information to support building close and loving relationships with their baby. It also enables parents to make informed decisions about feeding their baby and then to support those who choose to breastfeed to do so successfully.
This accreditation demonstrates that every member of staff working in Hertfordshire children’s centres and the health visiting service, have been trained to support breastfeeding mothers whilst also providing mothers who have chosen to bottle feed with information to do this as safely as possible in a responsive manner.
UNICEF UK assessors interviewed both health visitors and children’s centre staff on how well standards had been embedded into practice.
Georgina Berg, Infant Feeding Coordinator at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to have passed stage two of the initiative. Staff demonstrated excellent knowledge and skills in infant feeding, supporting breastfeeding mothers and strengthening relationships between mothers, babies and their families.
“The health visiting service is working towards full accreditation and is committed to supporting breastfeeding and providing high quality advice, information and support to ensure the best start in life for babies and their parents.”
Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Localism and Libraries Teresa Heritage, said: “We know that many mums want to breastfeed but often give up when things aren’t going to plan. It is such a positive step that as well as health visitors, mothers can now speak with well-informed staff in all Hertfordshire children’s centres in those early days, safe in the knowledge that their training has met the nationally recognised UNICEF UK Baby Friendly standards.”
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