Monday, 25 June 2012
Improved measures to provide better care and support to new mums to help them breastfeed have gained Cardiff and Vale University Health Board a top award.
The Women’s Unit in the University Hospital of Wales has been awarded the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative for adopting internationally recognised standards of good practice in the care of mothers and their babies.
The award will be presented by the Minister for Health and Social Services Lesley Griffiths on June 25, 2012 to kick start national breastfeeding week in Wales which runs until June 30.
Activities will be taking place across Wales to highlight the theme of the week which is the work of breastfeeding peer supporters, who provide support for mothers from mothers who have breastfed.
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths AM said, “I am delighted to congratulate staff at the University Hospital of Wales for achieving the UNICEF Baby Friendly Award.
“Breastfeeding provides great benefits for mothers and their children, and maternity units have a crucial role to play in supporting this.
“Peer Supporters are also key to supporting mothers to breastfeed. Not only have they trained to provide evidence-based information, but crucially, they have already been there. They can offer empathy, encouragement and their own experiences.”
The Baby Friendly Initiative was established in 1992 and works with organisations to ensure the provision of a high standard of care in relation to infant feeding for pregnant women and mothers and babies.
This includes having a breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to staff, informing all pregnant women about the benefits of breastfeeding, helping mothers to start breastfeeding soon after birth and showing mothers how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their babies.
Following a rigorous three stage assessment process, the Women’s Unit at University Hospital Wales has received the final stage of this accreditation.
Ruth Walker, Executive Director of Nursing at Cardiff and Vale UHB said, “I am delighted staff at the Women’s Unit have been recognised for their hard work and dedication to develop a baby friendly approach to breastfeeding across the Unit.
“It is important for mums and their babies to receive this level of support and raise awareness of the benefits to breastfeeding and we are particularly grateful to mums that work in partnership with us to provide support and to help us gain this award.”
The national Peer Supporters scheme is key to helping mums and there are more than 30 available across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan providing support and empathy for mothers from mothers who have breastfed.
It is a voluntary role and most mothers decide to train as peer supporters because they have received help from one themselves, or they attend a breastfeeding support group and want to do more to help mothers enjoy breastfeeding.
Peer supporters can be found at a number of venues; in breastfeeding support groups usually held in the community, in maternity wards, in antenatal clinics and well baby clinics.
Information on breastfeeding and details of events taking place to highlight the week can be found at www.healthchallengewales.org/breastfeeding
Note to Editors:
The Health Minister will present the award to Judy Rogers, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator and Katie Lonerhan, Neonatal Staff Nurse and Anne Lewis, Lactation Consultant in the Women’s Unit at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff on June 25, 2012 at 10.20am.
Interviews are available with the Health Minister, Jane Herve, Head of Midwifery, Judy Rogers, Katie Lonerhan and Anne Lewis along with breastfeeding peer supporters.
*To arrange interviews and photo opportunities please contact Estelle Hitchon, Cardiff and Vale UHB on 029 2074 3507 or Alison Watkins on 07854 386054.