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UNICEF UK award for neonatal

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By Abbey Morton
UNICEF UK award for neonatal

NEONATAL services in the region have been awarded a Certificate of Commitment from UNICEF UK, in a first step towards gaining international recognition.

The certificate, from the United Nation’s Children’s Fund Baby Friendly Initiative, was presented to staff by UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative professional officer for Scotland Janet Dalzell in the unit at Dumfries infirmary on Tuesday.

NHS infant feeding advisor UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative co-ordinator for neonatal services Kay Black said: “We decided to join forces with the Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers in the neonatal unit. Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes later in life.”

Promoting the benefits of breastfeeding and the importance of support, NHS health and wellbeing specialist/maternal and infant nutrition lead/UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative project lead Veronica King said: “We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers – although mothers might be more interested in hearing that it’s easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding. We also set out to ensure that all mothers and babies are supported to form a strong loving relationship – whatever their choice of feeding method – as this is the best start for every baby.”

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. In the UK, the initiative works with health professionals to ensure that mothers and babies receive high-quality support to enable successful breastfeeding. The Certificate of Commitment recognises dedication to implementing best practice standards.

Baby Friendly Initiative programme director Sue Ashmore said: “We are delighted that NHS Dumfries and Galloway Neonatal Services has received this award. “Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers at NHS Dumfries and Galloway neonatal services have the satisfaction of knowing that their neonatal nurses/staff nurses/healthcare support workers are aiming to provide the highest standard of care.”

* Pictured above: children’s and neonatal nurse Linsey Kehoe, infant feeding advisor Kay Black, senior charge nurse Mo Smith, UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative professional officer for Scotland Janet Dalzell, healthcare assistant Carol McClelland, clinical manager Bill Irving and health and wellbeing specialist Veronica King

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