Bradford born pop star and mum of one, Kimberley Walsh, was on hand to present local health care experts a prestigious award today.  The Health Visiting Service at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is the latest to receive international recognition from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) Baby Friendly Initiative for its work to increase breastfeeding rates and improve care for mums across the district.

Kimberly, who attended the event with 9 month old son Bobby, presented  Health Visitors at the Trust with ‘full UNICEF Baby Friendly status’ saying:

“Breastfeeding can be difficult at first and my own experience has meant I have sought expert help in the past. Support, such as that provided by health visitors, can help mums to develop an even stronger bond with their newborn. As a busy working mum, the extra cuddle time it gave me with Bobby was really important to me.”

The Trust’s health visiting service is delighted to receive the status after being assessed as part of Unicef and the World Health Organisation’s global programme.

Kim Atkinson, Baby Friendly Initiative Lead for the Health Visiting Service said:

“A key part of our role as health visitors is to strengthen mother-baby and family relationships, regardless of whether a baby is breast fed.  However, surveys do show that most mums want to try breastfeeding, if the right support is in place. There are practical benefits such as it’s cheaper and less hassle than bottle feeding, but there are long term health benefits too. Breastfeeding can protect baby from a wide range of serious illnesses such as asthma and diabetes and reduce the risk to mum of developing some cancers”.

Programme Director for Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative, Sue Ashmore added: “This status means families across Bradford and district can be confident that their local health visitors provide high standards of care.”