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West Middlesex University Hospital reaccredited as Baby Friendly by UNICEF UK

21 August 2017

The maternity and special care baby units at West Middlesex University Hospital are proud to announce their reaccreditation as baby friendly, by the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI).

The maternity and special care baby units at West Middlesex University Hospital are proud to announce their reaccreditation as baby friendly, by the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI).

This comes as fantastic news considering West Mid’s dedicated work over the past year to train staff to the BFI standard for breastfeeding knowledge and skill. 

Evidence based, accurate knowledge from the postnatal staff means women are nurtured and empowered to breastfeed their babies, with community midwives continuing to provide this crucial support as soon as they return home.

Women and their families are also invited to an infant feeding class ahead of giving birth and an ‘Early Days’ class further prepares them for what to expect during the first precious weeks with their babies. 

The UNICEF programme recognises that sensitive, consistent, face-to-face support should be offered from pregnancy right through to the early weeks and months of a child’s life, ensuring women are able to breastfeed for as long as they wish.

Their ‘Call to Action’ campaign launched earlier this year further aims to change the conversation around infant feeding. It shifts the focus so that the UK’s low breastfeeding rates are no longer seen as the responsibility of individual mothers but rather as a public health issue, requiring a collective response.

Simon Mehigan, Divisional Director of Midwifery, said: “We are very proud of West Mid’s part in the UNICEF collective. Just knowing that we have achieved the skill set and knowledge base to begin to shift that focus from a culture of blame and guilt to one of achievement and success, along with making a difference to a women’s breastfeeding journey on a daily basis, makes us feel humbled to have received this award.”

The Chelsea site is due to undergo its assessment by UNICEF in October and with West Mid’s experience helping them to prepare, feel confident that they can replicate such success.

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