Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s health visiting and family nurse partnership services are celebrating after being reaccredited with the national UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative.

The accreditation shows excellent practice across the services in protecting, promoting and supporting infant feeding and parent-infant relationships.

Kim Atkinson, Breastfeeding Coordinator, at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted at being reaccredited with the Baby Friendly Initiative. We are very proud that our services have been acknowledged as providing mothers with the help and support they need to successfully breastfeed if they choose to do so.

The Trust marked the occasion with a presentation earlier this week (17 April) which saw senior leaders from the organisation, breast feeding champions and mums and babies who have used the Trust services get together to celebrate the achievement.

Alison Moore, Senior Manager with the Public Health Improvement team at Bradford District Council, who presented the certificate at the event said: “We are really pleased that Bradford District Care Trust has achieved full UNICEF Baby Friendly status. It assures us that mums across the district are receiving the best advice about feeding their baby. The accreditation is recognition that the staff are giving clear and consistent messages, and supporting mums and babies to have the best start in life.”

The Baby Friendly Initiative is designed to provide parents with the best possible care to build close and loving relationships with their baby and to feed their baby in ways which will support the best health and development for them.

Kim added: “A key part of our role is to strengthen parent-infant relationships, regardless of whether a baby is breastfed or not. However we do recognise that many mums need support and encouragement to help them to continue breastfeeding, particularly in areas with a culture of formula feeding.

“Breastfeeding is known to boost babies immune systems, protecting them from infections and childhood cancers, as well as protecting against obesity, diabetes, asthma and eczema. Mums who breastfeed are also less likely to get breast or ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes or become obese.

“Getting the reaccreditation was a whole team effort including the breast feeding champions within the Trust and public health, who support all relevant agencies across Bradford to become baby friendly.”

The Trust first received the accreditation in 2015 when Kimberley Walsh, Bradford born pop star and mum, attended the event to present the certificate.