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Our neonatal units earns certificate from UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative

14 February 2022

Our neonatal units have been awarded a Certificate of Commitment in our first step towards gaining recognition from the UK Committee for UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative.

Our neonatal units have been awarded a Certificate of Commitment in our first step towards gaining recognition from the UK Committee for UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative. 

"This award from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to increase breastfeeding rates and improve care for all mothers at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust," said Helen Mol, Neonatal Baby Friendly Co-ordinator.

"Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses, including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy, as well as cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes and obesity later in life. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers, and that it supports the mental health of both mother and baby," added Purvi Patel, Neonatal Baby Friendly Co-ordinator. "At our Trust we set out to ensure that all mothers and babies are supported to form a close and loving relationship – whatever their choice of feeding method – as this is the best start for every baby."

The Baby Friendly Initiative is a global programme which aims to transform healthcare for babies, their mothers and families as part of a wider global partnership between UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). In the UK, the Baby Friendly Initiative works with public services to better support families with feeding and developing close, loving relationships in order to ensure that all babies get the best possible start in life. The Certificate of Commitment recognises that a health care facility is dedicated to implementing recognised best practice standards.

"We are delighted that Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has received this award," said UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director Sue Ashmore. "Our work to support breastfeeding is based on extensive and resounding evidence that breastfeeding saves lives, improves health and cuts costs in every country worldwide, rich and poor alike. Mothers at Chelwest have the satisfaction of knowing that their midwives/health visitors are aiming to provide the highest standard of care."