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Seven out of ten Rotunda babies are now breastfed as
Hospital gains National Baby Friendly Award for second time - 12 July 2012
The Rotunda Hospital, Dublin has gained international award status for the second time as a Baby Friendly Hospital that actively promotes breastfeeding as part of recognised standards of best practice in the care of mothers and babies.
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global project of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF. It promotes best practice in maternity services as crucial to the success of programmes promoting breastfeeding.
To gain Baby Friendly status, maternity hospitals must follow the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These ensure that the hospital supports and promotes informed parental choice by providing appropriate, accurate, unbiased information and discussion with women and their partners. The steps include training of healthcare staff, information given to pregnant women, skin contact and initiation of breastfeeding, supplementation of breastfed infants and rooming in.
Ms Margaret Philbin, Director of Midwifery and Nursing welcomed the announcement of the Award being gained for the second time:
“At the Rotunda we set out to provide the best standard of care for those who use our services and to help mothers do what’s best for their babies. Achieving the Baby Friendly Hospital Award is the gold standard for us and for our mothers and babies. It required great effort and commitment from all the staff across various disciplines. Our figures show that nearly seven out of ten babies born in the Rotunda Hospital are breast fed. Despite the high activity levels and challenges we face, this is another example of the Rotunda Hospital’s ongoing commitment to quality care and the promotion of health for mothers and babies.”
The WHO states that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for infants. It recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.
The Rotunda Hospital was the first maternity hospital in Dublin to get the National Baby Friendly Hospital Award in 2006. Hospitals awarded this status are audited on a regular basis to ensure ongoing compliance with best practice recommendations.
The award was presented by Dr Genevieve Becker, National Co-ordinator for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative with Ms Nikita White from UNICEF and Ms Siobhan Hourigan, National Breastfeeding Co-ordinator with the HSE in attendance.