Northampton General Hospital has scooped a prestigious baby friendly award from Unicef.
The Baby Friendly award is given to hospitals who are deemed to have best practice standards in place to strengthen mother-baby relationships and to support mothers who choose to breastfeed.
Kate Bates, NGH infant feeding co-ordinator, said: “The award means we’ve been recognised as giving a very good standard of care in terms of breastfeeding support and feeding support for all mums whether they’ve chosen to breast or bottle feed.
“We support mums and babies in spending time just getting to know each other; we suggest lots of skin-to-skin contact and we help mums to understand how their babies communicate so they can respond because that’s so important for babies’ development and for relationship building.”
In Northampton, just under 80 per cent of mothers choose to breastfeed their babies. It has been proven that breastfeeding helps protect babies from a range of illnesses like gastroenteritis, chest infections, ear infections.
Being a baby-friendly hospital means:
-During pregnancy you will have a full discussion about caring for and feeding your baby, including the benefits of breastfeeding.
-You will be given your baby to hold against your skin straight after they are born.
-A midwife will offer to help you to start breastfeeding in the first half hour or so after your baby is born.
-Your baby will be kept with you at all times.
-If you decide to breastfeed, a midwife will show you how to hold your baby and how to help them latch on
Sue Ashmore, Baby Friendly Initiative director, said “We are delighted that Northampton General Hospital 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 at Northampton General Hospital can be confident that their maternity team will provide high standards of care.”