NHS Ayrshire & Arran has been awarded UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation for the community.
The award means new mums and pregnant women in Ayrshire and Arran are getting the best support when it comes to breastfeeding.
Donna McKee, NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Clinical Nurse Manager Community and Early Years, explained the accolade came about following an assessment by the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly team, adding, “This is a great achievement for our staff, and shows their hard work and commitment to constantly improve the care received by families. The assessors were impressed with the knowledge and skills shown and were confident our staff can fully support breastfeeding mothers and babies.”
Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine was the first large maternity unit in Scotland to receive UNICEF Baby Friendly status in February 1999. Since then, the area’s maternity services have been re-accredited with the award on four occasions.
Elizabeth Smith, NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Community Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, “Our hospital maternity services have been baby friendly for more than 14 years. Being baby friendly in the community means that new mums will continue to receive this high level of care from staff who are fully trained to promote, support and protect breastfeeding, and who can also provide information on support groups in the area.
“We want to encourage a more positive and open attitude towards breastfeeding. It provides your baby with all the nutrients they need for the first six months of their life and can protect from infection and other diseases in later life.”
John Burns, Chief Executive of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, accepted the award on behalf of the team.