Health visitors and children's centres in Wolverhampton have been praised for their work to promote breastfeeding and improve care for new mums.

Type=image;ImageID=8379;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Celebrating the prestigious Baby Friendly Award;TitleClass=strong;

They have been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award from Unicef, the United Nations Children's Fund, and in doing so have joined the maternity unit at New Cross Hospital in securing the accreditation.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "We decided to join forces with Unicef UK's Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers in Wolverhampton.

"Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses 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, while just as importantly it is also cheaper and less hassle than bottle feeding.

"I am delighted that our health visiting service and children's centres have demonstrated the excellent work they do to help new mums to breastfeed - and achieved the highest level award in the process.

"However a mother chooses to feed her baby, whether that's breastfeeding or bottle feeding, she can be sure that organisations in Wolverhampton are there to support her to form a strong loving relationship with her newborn child."

The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by Unicef and the World Health Organisation, is a global programme which provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care provided for all mothers and babies.

It works with public services in the UK to promote and support breastfeeding and to strengthen relationships between parents and children. The Award is given to health providers after an assessment by a Unicef team to recognise best practice standards are in place.

"We are delighted that Wolverhampton's health visiting service and children's centres have achieved full Baby Friendly status," said Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, Sue Ashmore. "Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don't always get the support they need. Mothers in Wolverhampton can be confident that their midwives and health visitors will provide high standards of care."

  • released: Friday 13 November, 2015