Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT), working with the county’s children’s centres, has been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and is the latest UK health care organisation to win international recognition from Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund).
“We decided to join forces with Unicef UK’s Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers in Hertfordshire,” said Kay Gilmour, Head of Children’s Universal Services at HCT.
Hertfordshire County Council’s director of Public Health, Jim McManus, added: “We know that many mums want to breastfeed but sometimes it’s not plain-sailing and mums tell us they need some support on this, especially when things aren’t going to plan, and they may feel they should just give up.
“There is a great deal of support through Hertfordshire’s children’s centres to provide new mums with the help they need to make the right choice for them and baby at what can be a vulnerable time.
“Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later life. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of obesity, diabetes and some cancers.”