THE maternity services of Hywel Dda University Health Board have been celebrating after receiving the maternity stage three accreditation of the UNICEF UK baby friendly initiative, given in recognition of promoting breastfeeding and the mother and baby relationship.
By reaching stage three the health board has ensured that all staff caring for mothers, babies and their families have the knowledge and skills they need for the above.
Rhian Walters, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are delighted to get this accreditation which reaffirms the health board’s commitment to promoting breastfeeding and responsive bottle feeding.
“Our maternity staff have all been trained to support mums to make an informed decision regarding feeding their baby and we support every mum to have a close and loving relationship with their baby.”
Midwife and Infant Feeding Lead, Christena Phelan-O’Riodan, added: “We’ve seen some excellent standards of infant feeding, both with breastfeeding and responsive bottle feeding, and we’re pleased to receive this level of accreditation for the organisation.”
Breastfeeding helps to mature a baby’s gut, avoid infection, reduces the risk of infection and encourages neurological development, and mums who breastfeed also have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, postnatal depression and weak bones in later life.
Supporting mums to breastfeed their babies is one of the core components of the Welsh Government’s Healthy Child Wales Programme.