We're celebrating after scooping the first shared UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Gold assessment award in the country.
What's unique is it is a shared award with health visitors reflecting the continuing support we offer our new mums both in hospital and once they have returned home.
Our long standing vision for a seamless service for mums, babies and families has now come to fruition and is embedded, providing integrated advice and support from pregnancy through to early years enabling babies to have a healthy start.'
Calderdale Maternity Services were the first accredited Baby Friendly Hospital in the region in 2002. Since then we have maintained the accreditation over 5 successive assessments.
Infant Feeding Advisor, Marilyn Rogers, said: " Embedding the Baby Friendly Initiative standards has required the development of staff knowledge and skills to support informed decisions about infant feeding and parent-infant relationships. Seeing the difference these standards make to the care of mothers, babies and families makes me very proud to be part of such a dedicated caring team and I am thrilled to be celebrating the success of achieving the Gold Award."
Head of Midwifery, Joyce Ayre, said: '"CHFT, Locala Calderdale Health Visiting and Peer Support Network are celebrating the achievement of reaching Gold across both Maternity and Health Visiting Services. The 1st in the country."
"CHFT is also one of only seven trusts in England to achieve the Baby Friendly Initiative Gold sustainability award. CHFT is a long standing Unicef BFI accredited Organisation and achieving Gold sustainability status is due to great teamwork, the commitment of all staff who provide the best standard of infant feeding care, the commitment and leadership of our Infant Feeding Advisors and the support received at Executive Board level by the Trust Guardian."
The baby friendly initiative introduced the standards into the community much later, as they recognised the importance of the promotion and protection of breastfeeding outside the hospital environment. The health visiting service has maintained their accreditation since 2010.
Baby Friendly accreditation is aimed at providing 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 optimum health and development.
Gaining gold status involved a significant amount of work undertaken over several years to secure Gold Award status.
The Achieving Sustainability Gold Award for Maternity and Calderdale Health Visiting services is an incredible achievement and in addition it is the first joint maternity and health visiting Gold award in England.
The assessment team said CHFT and Locala public health early years are highly commended for the quality of the evidence submitted. They also praised the integrated working within the community, to ensure that babies, mothers and their families receive seamless care. Of particular note is the peer support programme and Baby Cafes which are proving to support a rise in breastfeeding rates.