18 February 2021
Jersey’s Maternity and Special Care Baby Unit has achieved Stage 1 of the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative, an internationally recognised award of quality care.
The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) aims to support breastfeeding and good infant nutrition, which helps parents to develop close and loving relationships with their babies.
This programme is a commitment in the Government’s Food and Nutrition Strategy and features in the Children’s Plan, as breastfeeding is a key indicator of success in the Future Jersey priorities.
To reach Stage 1, Maternity breastfeeding champions have developed evidence-based guidelines, new processes, and have attended specific training on the benefits of breastfeeding and how to support mothers to get breastfeeding off to a good start.
Maternity staff worked closely with Sarah Keating, project lead for the Baby Friendly Initiative in Jersey based at local charity Family Nursing & Home Care, to achieve the accreditation.
Sarah said: “In order to reach level one, the Maternity unit has developed guidelines on how staff will support mothers setting a firm foundation for their breastfeeding journey. 91 per cent of Maternity staff have now received training in line with the UNICEF BFI standards with the remaining 9 per cent planned to access this within the year.”
Dana Scott, Head of Midwifery, said: “I am thrilled to be part of the Maternity services journey in gaining accreditation for the Baby Friendly Initiative. The team have worked hard and focused on education, training of staff and support for parents. We are excited as a team to continue moving forward and become a fully accredited unit, supporting parents to feed their babies in ways that optimise health and development. BFI is an excellent platform to ensure that babies in Jersey have a healthy start in life.”
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, added: “This is really good news for mothers and babies in Jersey and important recognition of our work to support them by giving children the best possible start in life. This accreditation will help ensure all mothers and babies receive the very highest standards of care and expert advice and supports parents in building strong relationships with their babies. My congratulations to the Maternity unit in achieving stage one of this internationally recognised award of quality care.”
The Maternity Unit join Family Nursing and Home Care’s Health Visiting team in their achievement of Stage One to ensure that families in Jersey receive a consistent message across all services. Through collaborative working across the services, families will receive a consistent message of support.
The most recent official figures published in the 2019 Births and Breastfeeding profile show the percentage of babies being breastfed on discharge from Jersey’s Maternity Unit was 75%.