Baby care services win top honours

Kathryn Ashton, WWL Infant Feeding Coordinator, Diane Swindlehurst, WWL Head of Midwifery, Pauline Law, WWL Deputy Director of Nursing and Dr Kate Arden, Director of Public Health Wigan Council
Kathryn Ashton, WWL Infant Feeding Coordinator, Diane Swindlehurst, WWL Head of Midwifery, Pauline Law, WWL Deputy Director of Nursing and Dr Kate Arden, Director of Public Health Wigan Council

WIGAN’S health trusts have been declared among the best for their baby healthcare.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) and Bridgewater Community Health Care NHS Foundation Trust have been awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly Award and are the latest UK health care facilities to win international recognition from Unicef.

Kathryn Ashton, infant feeding co-ordinator at WWL said: “We decided to join forces with Unicef UK’s Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for all mothers at WWL and Bridgewater. 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 some cancers – although mums might be more interested in hearing that it is easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding. But however a mother chooses to feed her baby, she can be sure that she will be supported to form a strong loving relationship with her new-born. This is through having maximum skin to skin contact and understanding how her baby communicates with her and needs her to respond.”

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. In the UK, the initiative works with UK public services to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother-baby and family relationships.