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Worcestershire hospitals achieve national recognition for supporting mothers and babies

New parents in Worcestershire are benefiting from receiving the most accurate information and advice on how best to feed their babies, after the county’s health services were awarded Baby Friendly accreditation for their work supporting local mums and their babies.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust now both have full accreditation by UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) meaning that healthcare in Worcestershire is recognised as being baby-friendly.

The BFI is designed to support breastfeeding and parent infant relationships by working to provide the best care for mothers and babies and is based on a global accreditation programme by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.

Baby friendly facilities provide parents with the best possible care to build close and loving relationships with their baby and advice on how to feed their baby in ways which will support health and development.

The official presentation of the accreditations took place in The Hive, Worcester, last week and featured exhibits from groups who have helped to promote breastfeeding in the community such as Redditch Breastfeeding Mummies, local health visitors and the National Childbirth Trust.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust first achieved BFI accreditation in 2011, but has now been awarded re-accreditation while Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust celebrated achieving their accreditation following both of their hard work to promote breastfeeding across the county.

Well-established evidence from the BFI has shown that breastfeeding benefits both mother and baby. Breastfeeding is also known to have wide-reaching and long-lasting positive effects on a baby's health and development.

Matron for Maternity at Worcestershire’s Acute Hospitals, Rachel Carter said: “We are thrilled to have been re-accredited as a trust by the BFI, and delighted that healthcare in Worcestershire as a whole has now achieved full accreditation.

“All of the maternity team work hard to consistently promote the benefits of breastfeeding for mums and their babies. We always try to make sure that the mums-to-be we see have all the information and support they need.”

Specialist Midwife and Infant Feeding Advisor at Worcestershire’s Acute Hospitals, Becky Davenport said: “We are so pleased to see the whole county achieve this recognition. We were delighted to achieve full accreditation in 2011 and maintained the standards in 2014. Therefore thisis fantastic for all of health to come together and see Worcestershire acknowledged for leading the way in care for babies and their mothers.”

4ward is our Trustwide culture change programme which is helping us build a more positive, supportive workplace for the benefit of our patients and colleagues. At its heart are our four 4ward Behaviours.