Maternity Services Receive UNICEF Award

21/06/2010

To mark National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, Maternity Services at Belfast Trust have been awarded the prestigious UNICEF Baby Friendly Award. 

National Breastfeeding Awareness Week runs from 21 – 27 June, and aims to raise awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding, increase social acceptance of breastfeeding and promote support for breastfeeding.

National Breastfeeding Awareness Week runs from 21 – 27 June. The week aims to raise awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding, increase social acceptance of breastfeeding and promote support for breastfeeding.

To mark this week the Maternity Services at Belfast Trust has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and is the latest UK health care facility to win international recognition from UNICEF (United Nation’s Children’s Fund).

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 Award is given to health facilities/hospitals universities after an assessment by a UNICEF team has show that recognised best practice standards are in place.

"Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as allergies and diabetes in childhood. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers – although mums might be more interested in hearing that it is easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding,” added Helen McElroy, Breastfeeding Co-ordinator, RJMH

Pictured (L-R): Helen McIlroy, Breastfeeding Co-ordinator, RJMS, Joanne Braniff and Jodie, Barbara Spratt, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, Mater Maternity Unit