Organisations recognised for supporting mothers across North Somerset
PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 January 2020
Two organisations have been recognised for their support of mothers across North Somerset.
North Somerset's children's centres and the Health Visiting Service for the North Somerset Community Partnership (NSCP) have been recognised for the quality of service and support they provide to mothers on infant feeding.
Both have been given the Baby Friendly Award, achieving international recognition from charity Unicef.
The Health Visiting Service was first accredited in 2014 and then reaccredited in 2016, demonstrating a commitment to maintaining high standards of care for mothers and babies in North Somerset.
The health visiting team at NSCP works closely with North Somerset Council's children's centres, which passed their stage-three assessment to become fully accredited at the same time.
In their report, inspectors say the services work so closely together 'it felt like one service, and mothers have seamless care'.
Matt Lenny, director of public health at North Somerset Council, added: "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 breastfeeding reduces the mother's risk of some cancers, although mothers might be more interested in hearing that, once [breastfeeding] is established, it is easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding.
"But, however a mother chooses to feed her baby, she can be sure she will be supported to form a strong, loving relationship with her newborn through having maximum skin-to-skin contact and understanding how her baby communicates with her and needs her to respond."
In the UK, the initiative works with public services to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother-baby and family relationships.
Programme director Sue Ashmore added: "Surveys show us most mothers want to breastfeed but don't always get the support they need. Mothers in North Somerset can be confident their health visitors will provide high standards of care."