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NHS Grampian Passes Stage 1 of Baby Friendly Accreditation
NHS Grampian has now passed Stage 1 of the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative, currently being undertaken within the Acute Sector at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Dr Gray's in Elgin. Assessment by UNICEF took place on 20 February 2009, and we were complimented on the high quality of documentation submitted for assessment.
Baby Friendly accreditation is a prestigious award, and maternity services that adopt the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding can apply to be assessed and accredited as Baby Friendly. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are evidence-based best practice standards developed by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation. They are designed to enable improved practice in maternity units in order to promote, protect and support breastfeeding. Baby Friendly accreditation requires that maternity units implement all Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and practise in line with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding can be viewed at www.babyfriendly.org.uk/page.asp?page=218, and the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes can be viewed at www.babymilkaction.org/regs/thecode.html.
Research shows that babies born in Baby Friendly Accredited Maternity Units are 28% more likely to be breastfed at 7 days than those in other units. The breastfeeding initiation rate within Aberdeen Maternity hospital has been rising over recent years, and now 75% of new mums initiate breastfeeding.
NHS Grampian will work towards Stage 2 of the Initiative over the next two years, and the focus will be on implementing the education programme, which will involve providing education for all clinical staff, as appropriate to their role. Stage 2 will be assessed by 20 February 2011, and it is hoped that full accreditation will be achieved by early 2012.
Click here to download the Grampian Breastfeeding Strategy and Action Plan for 2008 / 2011.
Breastfeeding is the natural and healthiest way for a woman to feed her baby and many important health benefits are known to exist for both the mother and her baby. NHS Grampian (NHSG) believes that every baby should be exclusively breast fed for a minimum of six months unless there is a medical indication that would prevent this. WHO recommends breastfeeding beyond the first year as part of a mixed diet. It also aims to promote a culture where health professionals view breastfeeding as the norm and undertakes to remove obstacles to breastfeeding. Within this culture health professionals have a responsibility to actively promote, support and protect breastfeeding, giving mothers clear and impartial evidence based information that will help them come to an informed decision about how to feed their baby. The ultimate decision on whether or not to breastfeed should remain that of the individual woman and she will be supported in her choice by all health professionals.
The 2010 NHSG Breastfeeding Policy has been written in accordance with UNICEF Baby Friendly guidelines. This policy will soon be available on the NHSG Intranet.
NHSG recognises the benefits of breastfeeding and supports strategies and facilities in support of workplace breastfeeding for mothers during the first year of her baby's life. The "Support for Breastfeeding Mothers" Policy applies to all female employees of NHSG and to women carrying out work for, or on behalf of, NHSG. This policy is available on the NHSG Intranet.
The Bill for the Breastfeeding etc (Scotland) Act 2005 of the Scottish Parliament was passed by the Parliament on 18th November 2004 and received Royal Assent on 18th January 2005
The Act covers women breastfeeding as well as anyone feeding milk to toddlers in licensed premises, like pubs and restaurants, where children are already allowed in.