New mums in Auckland can be assured they have all the help and support needed to give their baby the best start in life, as National Women’s Health maternity services were once again accredited as Baby Friendly
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is an international accreditation process monitored by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF that aims to raise standards and improve the health of mothers and babies by encouraging exclusive breastfeeding from birth.
Using the proven 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding framework, National Women’s Health supports and promotes exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s
life, while also ensuring that women who choose not to breastfeed are supported in their decision and provided with information and advice.
“What we do in hospital sets the scene for what happens when mums go on to leave the hospital,” explains Maggie O’Brien, Director of Midwifery at Auckland District Health Board (DHB).
“Breastfeeding has proven benefits for both mother and baby, however we understand that not every woman will breastfeed and make sure we provide all mothers with the help and support they need, whatever their decision.”
In New Zealand it is recommended that all maternity services achieve and maintain baby friendly hospital accreditation. National Women’s Health provides maternity services at Auckland City Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre and first became Baby Friendly in 2008 – it is now accredited until 2018.
“Almost 80 per cent of new mums at the hospital now breastfeed their babies today compared to 50 per cent when we first started this process in 2008,” adds Maggie. “We are delighted to have achieved this accreditation until 2018. It has been a rigorous process and an amazing amount of work has been done by so many staff – it is a credit to everyone involved.”
For more information visit the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative website(external link)
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