Simpson’s celebrates winning breastfeeding award

SIMPSON’S Centre for Reproductive Health is celebrating seven years as a Baby Friendly Unit after retaining a prestigious breastfeeding award.

The unit, at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, has been reaccredited with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Award in recognition of the work staff do to support new mums in breastfeeding.

The award was presented to the unit as part of National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, at a special tea party attended by parents, babies and staff.

James McCaffery, Director of Acute Services, presented a special plaque to Maria Wilson, Chief Midwife, to be displayed in the unit.

It is seven years since Simpson’s first received the award and special seventh anniversary lanyards have been produced to distribute to staff.

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 health professionals to ensure that mothers and babies receive high-quality support to enable successful breastfeeding.

The Award is given to hospitals and health facilities after an assessment by a UNICEF team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.

Maria Wilson, Chief Midwife for NHS Lothian, said:

“Celebrating seven years as a Baby Friendly Unit is a great achievement to show our commitment to breastfeeding and providing care and support to new mothers.
"Breastfeeding offers the best possible start to newborn babies and protects them against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as allergies and diabetes in childhood.
“We also know that there is often a lot of pressure on new mums to breastfeed, and the first few months can be a difficult time. We provide help and support to all new mums to help make breastfeeding work for them.”

New mum Sue-Ella Holmes, 39, was grateful for the support given to her by staff at Simpson’s after giving birth to twins William and Gemma, now five and a half months.

She said:

“It was much more challenging for me having twins and trying breastfeed both of them. The staff at Simpson’s were fantastic and were very supportive.
“I think breastfeeding is very important to give your babies the best start in life.”

UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director, Sue Ashmore, added:

"We are delighted that Simpson’s has achieved full Baby Friendly status.
“Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers at Simpson’s can be confident that their midwives will provide the highest standard of care.”