Lewisham is awarded baby friendly status
Unicef, the children’s charity, has recognised the Health Visiting Service at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust with its prestigious Level 3 Baby Friendly Award, the highest level attainable. The contribution of Children Centres and GP practices is also taken into account. These are evidence-based standards designed to provide parents with the best possible care so they can build a close and loving relationship with their baby.
The teams were commended for all the hard work that they put into the service and the report stated that it was clear that pregnant women and new mothers received a high standard of care from the team.
In making the award the Unicef team are looking to establish that the Health Visiting Service are working at every stage with the mother to support her and her choices; and also that staff are following the appropriate guidance including collaboration with any other local voluntary breastfeeding groups, among others.
The Baby Friendly Award encourages breastfeeding to establish a strong bond between mother and child although it is also recognised that some mothers prefer to bottle feed. If a mum chooses not to breastfeed the team promote bonding through maximising skin-to-skin contact and showing the mother how their baby communicates with her and needs her to respond.
More information about what standards health visitors have to reach can be found here.