NHS Fife has become the first maternity service in Scotland to receive gold baby friendly accreditation from UNICEF.
Baby Friendly was established in 1992 and came to the UK two years later with a programme for maternity services to support and encourage mothers to breastfeed.
Since then the programme has been expanded to include neonatal units, children’s centres and universities.
The new UNICEF accolade recognises the gold-standard level knowledge and commitment of staff in promoting breastfeeding and bringing mothers and babies closer through the feeding experience.
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Maternity services were subject to rigorous assessment throughout the accreditation – and Helen Buchananan, nursing director, said the award is well deserved:
“It has taken a lot of hard work to get to where we are now and I am delighted that the team have been recognised for supporting families to breastfeed and helping them to make informed choices.
“As Fife’s Baby Friendly Guardian, I know only too well the high standards that the team had to demonstrate and, as part of my role as Guardian, I myself had to sit in front of a UNICEF panel for over an hour as part of the assessment.
“To become the first maternity service in Scotland to be accredited with Gold Baby Friendly status is a tremendous accolade and a great source of pride.
“It will give confidence to parents across Fife that they are raising their babies with the support of a team at the top of their game.”