Forth Valley Neonatal Unit Recognised For Improving Care

The Neonatal Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital has been awarded a Certificate of Commitment in its first step towards gaining international recognition from the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI).

Elaine Ronald, NHS Forth Valley’s Infant Feeding Advisor, explained: “We decided to join forces with the Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers and families within our Neonatal Unit.”

Baby Friendly 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 that a health care facility is dedicated to implementing recognised best practice standards.

Val Sneddon, Neonatal Midwife/Joint Neonatal Unit BFI lead, said “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. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers.”

Susan Kane, another Neonatal Midwife/Joint Neonatal BFI lead, added: “We also set out to ensure that all parents 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.”

Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s Neonatal Unit’s excellent work came in for praise from Susan and Claire Renny who are pictured with their two week old triplets Erin, Katie and Beth. The couple described the team as absolutely fantastic and said they couldn’t have asked for a better team to be looking after their girls.

Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, Sue Ashmore, said: “We are delighted that The Neonatal Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital has received this award.

“Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Families within Forth Valley have the satisfaction of knowing that we are aiming to provide the highest standard of care.”

For further information please contact:

Baby Friendly Initiative Office on 0207 375 6093

Unicef UK Press Office on 020 7375 6030