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Chelsea and Westminster credited with full Baby Friendly Status

03 June 2013

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and is the latest UK health care facility to win international recognition from UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund).

Photo: Members of the midwifery team

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and is the latest UK health care facility to win international recognition from UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund).

Chelsea and Westminster is only the fourth hospital out of 31 in London to be awarded full Baby Friendly status.

Vivien Bell, Head of Maternity at Chelsea and Westminster, said: "We are delighted to be awarded full Baby Friendly status. This award is testament to the dedication and care provided by all the staff in our maternity unit. We decided to join forces with UNICEF UK's Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers.

"Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses as well as conditions such as asthma and diabetes in later life. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother's risk of some cancers.

"But however a mother chooses to feed her baby, she can be sure that she will be supported by our midwives to form a strong loving relationship with her newborn."

The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by UNICEF 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 Award is given to hospitals after an assessment by a UNICEF team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.

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