Cheshire East’s health visiting and breastfeeding support service has been hailed as ‘baby friendly’ by United Nations health organisation Unicef.
Staff at Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust, who are commissioned by Cheshire East Council to provide the service, were commended for the high standard of care they provide for pregnant women and new mothers.
New mums who took part in the re-assessment found the ‘Cherubs’ breastfeeding support service extremely valuable, with many saying that they could not have continued to breastfeed without the support given by the team.
Mums also spoke very favourably of the time spent with their health visitor, finding the staff approachable, friendly and helpful, particularly when they had received an antenatal visit.
The Unicef team praised the peer support training programme, which has resulted in 21 breastfeeding peer supporters established across the Borough. It also praised the training that has taken place with staff and mothers in Styal prison and the joint provision of a grandparents’ antenatal workshop.
Evidence of collaborative working was also recognised by Unicef, particularly the close links with the infant feeding team at Leighton Hospital.
Councillor Liz Durham, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for children and families, said: “The Council is delighted with the findings of the Unicef report, which confirms the high standard of care and support given to our new mums to encourage and enable them to successfully breastfeed.”
Councillor Paul Bates, Cabinet member for communities and health, added: “Breastfeeding helps to give children the best start in life so this report on the service is excellent news.”
The service is now working with Cheshire East Council to improve information and support given to mothers about the best time to start weaning their babies and to develop an antenatal pack to ensure that pregnant women have all the information they need.