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NGH is a baby-friendly hospital - and that's official!

NEWBORN

Northampton General Hospital has scooped a prestigious baby friendly award, the latest UK health care facility to win international recognition from children’s rights organisation Unicef.

The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by Unicef (United Nation’s Children’s Fund) 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.
The Baby Friendly award is given to hospitals who are deemed to have best practice standards in place to strengthen mother-baby relationships and to support mothers who chose to breastfeed.

Feeding support and relationship building
Kate Bates, NGH infant feeding co-ordinator, said: “The award means we’ve been recognised as giving a very good standard of care in terms of breastfeeding support and feeding support for all mums whether they’ve chosen to breast or bottle feed.

“In Northampton, just under 80 per cent of mothers choose to breastfeed their babies. We know that breastfeeding helps protect babies from a range of illnesses like gastroenteritis, chest infections, ear infections.

“We support mums and babies in spending time just getting to know each other; we suggest lots of skin-to-skin contact and we help mums to understand how their babies communicate so they can respond because that’s so important for babies’ development and for relationship building.”

Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, Sue Ashmore, said "We are delighted that Northampton General Hospital has achieved full Baby Friendly status. Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers at Northampton General Hospital can be confident that their maternity team will provide high standards of care.”

What to expect from a Baby Friendly hospital:
  • During pregnancy you will have a full discussion about caring for and feeding your baby, including the benefits of breastfeeding. This will provide you with all the facts you need to make an informed choice.
  • You will be given your baby to hold against your skin straight after they are born.
  • A midwife will offer to help you to start breastfeeding in the first half hour or so after your baby is born.
  • Your baby will be kept with you at all times.

If you decide to breastfeed:
  • A midwife will show you how to hold your baby and how to help them latch on – this will make sure they get enough milk and that feeding is not painful.
  • You will be given advice about how to breastfeed and how to make enough milk for your baby.
  • A midwife will offer to show you how to express your milk by hand.
  • Your baby will not be given water or formula milk unless there is a medical reason.
  • You will receive information about the support available for breastfeeding once you leave hospital.

If you decide to bottle feed:
  • Staff will support you. They will ask if you want to be taught to make up a bottle properly and will answer any questions you have.
Posted on Friday 27th May 2016
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