A scheme to encourage South Yorkshire mums to breastfeed has received top praise from Unicef and landed a cash windfall to extend the programme.
The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust was rewarded ‘Baby Friendly’ status from the international children’s charity in recognition of its work to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding.
The trust has also received £64, 000 from Health Education England’s Maternity Safety Fund to help Rotherham’s maternity services to develop and maintain their high standards.
Audra Muxlow, head of midwifery, nursing and professions at the trust, said: “We decided to follow the recommendations and standards of Unicef UK’s Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers in Rotherham.
“Breastfeeding offers life-long benefits and 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 that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers. We are thrilled to receive this award because it demonstrates how committed we are to supporting mums to give their babies the very best start in life.”
Sue Ashmore, programme director of the Baby Friendly initiative, said: “We are delighted that The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has achieved full Baby Friendly status. Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers in Rotherham can be confident that their midwives and health visitors will provide high standards of care.”