DAISY Hill Hospital and Newry & Mourne locality are celebrating reaccreditation achievement of the prestigious Baby Friendly award from the children’s rights organisation, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund).
The award is given to hospitals who are deemed to have best practice standards in place to strengthen mother-baby relationships and to support mothers who chose to breastfeed.
In addition to the latest award the Southern Health and Social Care Trust also has baby friendly status in Craigavon Area Hospital and Armagh-Dungannon, Craigavon-Banbridge community localities.
The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, is a global programme which provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care provided for all mothers and babies.
Sandra Hewitt, Southern Trust Infant feeding specialist midwife said: “The award means we’ve been recognised as giving a very good standard of care in terms of breastfeeding support, relationship building and feeding support for all mums whether they’ve chosen to breast or bottle feed.
“In the Southern Trust, 63% of mothers choose to breastfeed their babies. We know that breastfeeding helps protect babies from a range of illnesses like gastroenteritis, chest infections, ear infections.
“We support mums and babies in spending time just getting to know each other; we encourage lots of skin-to-skin contact and we help mums to understand how their babies communicate so they can respond because that’s so important for babies’ brain development and for relationship building.”
Melanie McClements, Interim Director of Acute Services said: "I am delighted that Daisy Hill Hospital and Newry & Mourne locality have been reaccredited with Baby Friendly status and I’d like to congratulate the whole maternity and health visiting teams for their commitment and hard work in securing this award. Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers at both Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area Hospitals and the three community localities can be confident that our maternity and health visiting teams will provide high standards of care. The award demonstrates that our facilities have the best practice standards in place and new mums can be confident that our staff are truly dedicated to supporting them to give their babies the best possible start to life.”
What to expect from a Baby Friendly hospital:
During pregnancy you will have a full discussion about caring for and feeding your baby, including the benefits of breastfeeding. This will provide you with all the facts you need to make an informed choice.
You will be given your baby to hold against your skin straight after they are born.
A midwife will offer to help you to start breastfeeding in the first half hour or so after your baby is born.
Your baby will be kept with you at all times.
If you decide to breastfeed:
A midwife will show you how to hold your baby and how to help them latch on – this will make sure they get enough milk and that feeding is not painful.
You will be given advice about how to breastfeed and how to make enough milk for your baby.
A midwife will offer to show you how to express your milk by hand.
Your baby will not be given water or formula milk unless there is a medical reason.
You will receive information about the support available for breastfeeding once you leave hospital.
If you decide to bottle feed:
Staff will support you. They will ask if you want to be taught to make up a bottle properly and will answer any questions you have.
To find out more about breastfeeding visit