Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust has been honoured with the esteemed Baby Friendly Award, marking its recognition by the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) Baby Friendly Initiative. The trust joins a select group of healthcare facilities in the United Kingdom that have achieved this notable distinction.

Dr. Anne-Marie Henshaw, the Trust’s Director of Midwifery and Women’s Health, expressed her satisfaction with the achievement, stating, “We work collaboratively to ensure that all mothers and babies receive the necessary support to develop a close and nurturing relationship, thereby providing them with the best possible start in life.”

Receiving the Baby Friendly Award showcases the Trust’s dedication to effectively implementing the Baby Friendly standards and enhancing patient care and experience. The Baby Friendly Initiative is a global program that aims to revolutionise healthcare for babies, mothers, and families worldwide. It operates as part of a broader partnership between UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In the UK, the Baby Friendly Initiative collaborates with public services to offer improved support to families regarding feeding and relationship development, while emphasising the significance of these aspects in a baby’s overall development. For instance, in Baby Friendly hospitals, it is now standard practice for mothers and babies to stay together immediately after birth, facilitating the establishment of a healthy bond. The award is granted to healthcare providers following an assessment by UNICEF UK to ensure the implementation of best practice standards.

Anne Woods, Deputy Programme Director of the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, commented on the achievement, saying, “Our commitment to supporting breastfeeding is grounded in compelling evidence that highlights its life-saving benefits, improves health outcomes, and reduces costs in every country worldwide. We are thrilled that Mid Yorkshire has attained full Baby Friendly status. Mothers at Mid Yorkshire can trust that their midwives will deliver exceptional care.”

Len Richards, Chief Executive of the Trust, acknowledged the outstanding nature of this accomplishment, crediting a devoted maternity workforce that is dedicated to supporting and educating women and families to achieve the best possible outcomes.

The Baby Friendly Award recognises Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust’s unwavering commitment to providing excellent care for mothers, babies, and families. It solidifies the trust’s position as a leading healthcare institution in the UK and highlights its ongoing efforts to prioritise the health and well-being of the community it serves.