has achieved the first stage of becoming an official Unicef /Baby Friendly
accredited hospital for breastfeeding.
It means that the hospital has proved to Unicef/Baby
Friendly that it has laid a firm foundation in supporting more local mothers to
take up and sustain breast feeding.
Over the next three years the hospital will carry
out further work to obtain full accreditation – a status which is
internationally recognised as a gold standard in breast feeding support.
Breast Feeding Co-ordinator Petra
Traynor said: “Our aim is to increase the awareness of the enormous
health benefits of breastfeeding as well as supporting local mums to exclusively breastfeed for the
first six months.
“Lots of research shows that breast feeding can help
prevent babies getting illnesses such as gastroenteritis, diabetes, allergies
and childhood obesity.
“For mums it can reduce the risk of breast and ovarian
cancer. It also has great psychological benefits including reducing the risk of
The international Unicef/BabyFriendly
Initiativeaccreditation focuses largely on raising the profile
of the benefits of breastfeeding and reducing health inequalities. An increase in breast feeding rates can help
to improve the health outcomes of all mothers and babies both in the UK and
across the world.
The first step in becoming a ‘Baby Friendly’
hospital is to sign a Certificate of Commitment which the hospital did in 2009.
The hospital then works its way through a three
stage process which focuses on developing best practice standards in the care
given to mums and babies, in staff training and in hospital policies and
The process also involves visits where Unicef/Baby
Friendly assessors interview staff and mums to ensure the hospital has fully
implemented the required standards.
The hospital is now celebrating having passed stage
1 which means that it has the correct foundations in place to reach full
accreditation. The Trust’s policies and guidelines all adopt best practice
standards, and its staff training programme supports the Ten Steps to
KGH’s Head of Midwifery
Eilish Kennedy said: “Passing the first stage of the Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative is
a sign that the hospital is doing everything it can to promote breast feeding
think it is important to do this because our staff play a key role in helping
new mums to fully prepare for parenthood. “
Unicef Baby Friendly
Initiative Programme Director Sue Ashmore said: “We are delighted that KGH
has made this commitment to our initiative and we wish the hospital well in its
journey to further improve care for mothers, babies and their families.”
The hospital is also
aligning itself against the Unicef Baby Friendly Ten Steps to Successful
Breastfeeding which basically define what hospitals should be aiming to do
during the accreditation process.