Centre receives baby friendly award.

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The Royal Devon and Exeter Centre for Women’s Health has achieved international recognition for being baby friendly after receiving a prestigious award.

The centre was presented with the UNICEF(United Nation’s Children’s Fund) Baby Friendly Award following a three stage assessement by the UNICEF team, which recognised that the best practice standards were in place.

The Royal Devon and Exeter Infant Feeding Co-ordinator Karen Read said: “We decided to join forces with UNICEF UK’s Baby Friendly Initiative to increase breastfeeding rates and to improve care for mothers at all our maternity units including the RD&E, Tiverton, Okehampton and Honiton.

“We are very proud of all our staff who encourage and support mothers who want to breastfeed.”

She added: “Breastfeeding protects babies 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 breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers. Many mothers give up breastfeeding before they want to, this award shows that we provide support for women to establish breastfeeding and to continue to breastfeed for as long as they wish.”

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.

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