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ABMU health visitors receive national award

Monday, 10 September 2012
ABMU’s health visitors are celebrating becoming the first health visiting service in Wales to be awarded a national accreditation.
The team have been recognised with the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Award. It acknowledges health services which give excellent levels of support to mothers and families so that they can make informed decisions about baby feeding.

The award means that ABMU health visitors are aware of the evidence to support breastfeeding, and they have the knowledge and skills to help mothers who breastfeed. They also train breastfeeding peer supporters to help mothers even further.

The team were presented with the award by First Minister Carwyn Jones:

“This is a prestigious award and as the first Health Board in Wales to be accredited for their health visiting services, ABMU are a shining example for others to follow.” 

Picture: First Minister Carwyn Jones presents (l-r) Maria Dowden and Clare Shears, Infant Feeding Co-ordinators for ABMU, with the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Award

Victoria Franklin, ABMU’s Director of Nursing, added:

“We are extremely proud of this achievement, and are delighted that the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, was here to share this occasion with us. The award highlights the continued dedication and commitment of our health visitors to provide care and support to parents.”

Maria Dowden, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator for the Community, said:

“We are absolutely delighted that the hard work by the health visiting service has been recognised with this award. We all work together to support parents to make sure they have the best possible parenting experience.

“We have put into place our Hello Baby programme. It is an antenatal session which helps parents-to-be to build relationships with their babies before they are born. For example, they are encouraged to create a box of memories from the pregnancy or write a letter to their baby.

“The session also provides information on the latest research on skin to skin contact, which helps to soothe the baby and keep them warm. It is also an opportunity for mother-to-be to learn about their feeding options, and the support available to them.”

This latest achievement means that ABMU are the first Health Board in Wales to receive the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Award for both maternity and health visiting services.
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