Forth Valley Royal Celebrates Baby Friendly Award

New mums and babies from across Forth Valley joined in celebrations at Forth Valley Royal Hospital to mark the success of the women and children’s unit in retaining its UNICEF Baby Friendly Award.

The Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide programme administered by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, which was introduced to address a global decline in breastfeeding. Forth Valley Royal Hospital was first awarded full accreditation in 2012.

The Award is given in recognition of health professionals ensuring that Mums and babies receive high-quality support to enable successful breastfeeding. It follows an assessment by a UNICEF team, which involves interviews with clinical staff and with mothers themselves to determine how effectively the standards are being implemented. The accreditation is hard to achieve and requires a tremendous amount of work and effort over a long period.

NHS Forth Valley’s Infant Feeding Advisor Elaine Ronald said: “I’m delighted to accept this award on behalf of the whole unit. This recognises the hard work and effort involved in preparing for our reassessment and shows our commitment and motivation as a team to providing high standards of care to mothers and babies from across Forth Valley.”

“Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as allergies and diabetes in childhood. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers – although mums might be more interested in hearing that it is easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding.”

Presenting the award, Anne Tainsh UNICEF’s Senior Professional Officer for the Baby Friendly Initiative UK said: “So many of the mothers we spoke to – in fact 93% of them – were delighted with the information and care they received and this is a testament to the standard of care provided by all of the staff involved”.

Picture (l to r)

Samuel (5 Months) mum Laura Pringle; Callum (4 months) mum Elli Jennings; Oran (5 Months) mum Angela Martin; Gillian Morton, NHS Forth Valley General Manager for Women & Children’s services; Anne Tainsh, UNICEF Senior Professional Officer for Baby Friendly Initiative UK; Elaine Ronald, NHS Forth Valley Infant Feeding Advisor; Andrew (6 Months) mum Amy Henry; Lucas (7 months) mum Debbie Hill