Support for mothers and babies in Calderdale achieves golden first

Mayor of Calderdale, Cllr Dot Foster, with members of
Mayor of Calderdale, Cllr Dot Foster, with members of

Support for breastfeeding mothers in Calderdale to help ensure babies get the best possible start in life has achieved an international gold standard.

Calderdale Maternity and Health Visiting services have jointly been awarded The Baby Friendly Achieving Sustainability Gold Award by Unicef - the first joint maternity and health visiting Gold award in England.

The services work together to provide parents across Calderdale with the best possible care to build close and loving relationships with their baby and to feed their baby in ways which will best support health and development.

Colleagues from the service were commended for their hard work in achieving the Gold standard with a visit from the Mayor of Calderdale, Councillor Dot Foster.

Head of Midwifery, Joyce Ayre, said: “Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Locala Calderdale Health Visiting and Peer Support Network are celebrating the achievement of reaching Gold across both Maternity and Health

Visiting Services - the first 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 and the commitment and leadership of our Infant Feeding Advisors.”

Alison Walklate, Locala Health Visitor and Lead on Infant Feeding, added they were delighted that the hard work over recent years to create a seamless service for mums and babies had been recognised by Unicef: “To be the first joint service in the country to be awarded Gold status is a major achievement for us and shows that in Calderdale the partnership working is offering the right support for parents and their children.”

Coun Foster, the Mayor of Calderdale, said: “As a mum, and as a former breastfeeding peer supporter, I know what a difference breastfeeding can make to a baby’s start in life. The first 1,000 days of life are the most important in a child’s development, and breastfeeding can have a lifelong positive effect on their health.

“For all mums, the right support is vital. Breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be challenging. The support and guidance offered to all mums in Calderdale has now been recognised as outstanding, and I am delighted that the hard work of the Midwifery and Health Visiting teams, and the network of peer supporters has been formally recognised.”