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Award marks baby-friendly journey

Posted onPosted on 3rd Jul

The Neonatal Unit at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton, has achieved the prestigious Baby Friendly Award from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative.

The award came after the unit, which is run by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, achieved stage three Baby Friendly Accreditation just two years after being chosen for the initiative.

The initiative aims to support families with feeding and developing close, loving relationships to ensure that all babies get the best possible start in life.

Kim Hastings, neonatal specialist nurse for infant feeding said: “This is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to increase breast/chest feeding rates and improve care for all families.

“Breast/chest feeding protects babies against a range of serious illnesses. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers, and that it supports the mental health of both mother and baby.”

Training has been provided to all staff on the unit thanks to support from trust senior managers, Sherwood Forest Hospital Charity, and the Emily Harris Foundation. The unit provides a breast pump for each cot space, and staff support families to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies.

Kim added: “We set out to ensure that all parents/carers and babies are supported to form a close and loving relationship, whatever their choice of feeding method, as this is the best start for every baby.”