Recognition for ‘baby-friendly’ Wirral

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Wirral has become one of only three places in the UK to receive international recognition as a baby-friendly zone.

The status has been awarded by UNICEF to local health care organisations in the area for the standard of care and support they offer to new mums who want to breastfeed.

The prestigious Baby Friendly award has been won by Wirral Community NHS Trust in a joint venture with children’s Sure Start centres on the Wirral after an assessment by a UNICEF team recognised best practice standards were in place.

The trust decided to join forces with the global scheme run by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation in a bid to increase breastfeeding rates and improve the care of mothers in the area.

Baby Friendly Initiative programme director Sue Ashmore said: “Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support that they need.

“Mothers in Wirral can be confident that their midwife and health visitor will provide the highest standard of care.”

Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses and respiratory infections as well as allergies and diabetes in childhood.

It can also  reduce the mother’s risk of some cancers.

New mum Danielle Graham, 22, from the Wirral chose to breastfeed  as she thought it would be a beautfiul bonding experience with her baby Ella.

She told JMU Journalism: “Breastfeeding gives a baby the best start in life, I had regular check-ups with my midwife and its very comforting knowing any of my queries would be answered.

“When I was in hospital, the health care people promoted breastfeeding and gave me one-to-one advice.”

The award is to be presented by Ann Woods, senior vice president of UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative in Birkenhead next week. 

About Katie Croft, JMU Journalism