Health organisations accredited with baby-friendly awards
PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 January 2020
Two organisations have been rewarded for being baby friendly.
North Somerset children's centres and North Somerset Community Partnership (NSCP) health visiting service have been recognised for the quality of service and support they provide to mothers around infant feeding.
They have both been accredited with the Baby Friendly Award, achieving international recognition from charity Unicef. The Health Visiting service was first accredited in 2014, and was reaccredited in 2016, demonstrating a commitment to maintaining high standards of care for mothers and babies in North Somerset.
The health visiting team at NSCP works closely with North Somerset Council's children's centres, who passed their stage three assessment to become fully accredited at the same time.
In their report inspectors noted 'the services work so closely together that it felt like one service, and mothers have seamless care'.
Matt Lenny, director of public health at North Somerset Council added: "Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later life. We also know breastfeeding reduces the mother's risk of some cancers, although mothers might be more interested in hearing that once it is established it is easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding.
"But however a mother chooses to feed her baby, she can be sure that she will be supported to form a strong loving relationship with her newborn, through having maximum skin to skin contact and understanding how her baby communicates with her and needs her to respond."
In the UK, the initiative works with public services to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother-baby and family relationships.
Support for these relationships is important for all babies, not only those who are breastfed.
Programme director, Sue Ashmore, added: "Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don't always get the support they need.
"Mothers in North Somerset can be confident that their health visitors will provide high standards of care."