We are baby friendly!
The Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organization and Unicef. It was established in 1992 to encourage maternity hospitals to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding'.
Northampton General Hospital is celebrating being accredited by UNICEF UK as being a Baby Friendly hospital for the second time.
This prestigious award recognises how the hospital care for mothers and babies, the information parents receive about breastfeeding and the support given to patients. Since the first accreditation in 2016, NGH is one of just 64% of hospitals in the UK who have achieved the Baby Friendly status.
Kate Bates, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, explained how this accreditation will benefit patients: “We find that staff are now confident in helping parents not be afraid of spoiling their baby by holding and cuddling them and parents seem really happy to learn how close, loving relationships are so beneficial for their baby’s brain development”.
Officers from UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative were impressed by the high level of care mothers reported and the confidence they had gained in breastfeeding their babies.
Mothers were also quick to praise the maternity team throughout the report. One mother cited the impact their breastfeeding support had during her time in the hospital: “Everyone I came into contact with was just lovely, my community midwife was exceptional I wouldn’t still be breastfeeding if it wasn’t for her”.
Another mother praised the support for skin to skin contact and bonding: “My labour was a surprise and everything happened so fast. Once I had delivered I felt completely disconnected from my babies even though I had talked to them in pregnancy. I had skin to skin with one of my sons the same day he was born, and have had skin contact with them both every day since. It made everything right again, and I am so very grateful for that”.
The inspection process combines tests and interviews about the knowledge levels of staff on a range of topics such as; breast feeding, skin to skin contact and the support offered to mothers throughout pregnancy and post birth. During the visit mothers are also asked about their experience of the hospital and the support they have been given.
The Baby Friendly Initiative provide hospitals with guidance on supporting breastfeeding and relationship-building. The accreditation at NGH confirms that the hospital are committed to improving care for all mothers and babies and are working to ensure they are supported throughout their experience.
Posted on Monday 11th March 2019