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A Surrey maternity unit gains international recognition

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Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:00am 3rd November 2015. (Updated at 6:12am 3rd November 2015)

Ashford and St Peter's maternity unit gains international recognition from Unicef winning the prestigious 'Baby Friendly Award'.

The unit joined forces with Unicef UK's Baby Friendly Initiative 5 years ago to increase breastfeeding rates and improve the care given to all mums staying there.

Infant Feeding Lead Midwife Jo Wilding-Hilcote:  "We worked through the three levels to gain level three and full accreditation.”

"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 that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of some cancers – although mums might be more interested in hearing that it is easier, cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding."

“But however a mother chooses to feed her baby, she can be sure that 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. 

"Gaining level 3 accreditation has only been possible with the full team working together and doing their bit. 

"I’m privileged to be here and to be a part of this team.”

 Chairman Aileen McLeish adds: “This is a fantastic achievement for our maternity team who have worked very hard to gain this award.  This is another great example of our commitment to continually improving our services to ensure the best patient care.” 

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