Baby-Friendly is best at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals (NNUH) NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded a Certificate of Commitment in its first step towards gaining international recognition from the UNICEF (United Nation's Children's Fund) Baby Friendly Initiative.

“We decided to join forces with the Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers at our maternity unit” said Glynis Moore, Head of Midwifery at the NNUH. She added “Our hospital statistics reveal that although over 77% of women start off breastfeeding, this figure drops to just 51% of mums exclusively breastfeeding when their community midwife discharges them to their health visitor. We are committed to improving these rates, for the benefit of the women and babies in our care.”

Luisa Lyons, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator at the NNUH commented “It is now widely known that breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as diabetes. We know that breastfeeding protects babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death) and reduces a mother’s risk of both breast and ovarian cancer. It’s hundreds of pounds cheaper and, when established, simply less hassle than bottle feeding. In addition it uses up around 500 calories a day.” The hospital is also keen to improve support and care for women who formula feed for whatever reason. Luisa said “We believe every single mother and baby has the right to enjoy a fulfilling and positive feeding experience. We appreciate that there are rare cases when women cannot breastfeed, and that some mums make an informed choice not to breastfeed. In these circumstances there are ways of preparing formula and bottle feeding that can reduce some of the risks of not breastfeeding.”

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. In the UK, the initiative works with health professionals to ensure that mothers and babies receive high-quality support to enable successful breastfeeding. The Certificate of Commitment recognises that a health care facility is dedicated to implementing recognised best practice standards.

“We are delighted that the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has received this award,” 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 The Norfolk and Norwich hospital have the satisfaction of knowing that their midwives are aiming to provide the highest standard of care.”

Photo opportunity

The Certificate will be presented to staff by Anna Dugdale, Chief Executive on Tuesday 21st June at 2pm on the plaza, outside West Outpatients at the NNUH.

Monday 13th of June 2011 12:00:31 PM