This week is Breastfeeding Celebration Week with the theme being promoting and supporting breastfeeding during the Covid-19 pandemic.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council Children’s Centres and Humber NHS Teaching Foundation Trust Integrated Public Health Nursing Service (ISPHNS) have teamed up with breastfeeding charities and Public Health England to run a campaign on social media.
It comes as the services are celebrating the re-validation of the prestigious UNICEF Baby Friendly, Achieving Sustainability – Gold Award in March 2020, after being the first in the UK to receive an integrated award in March 2019.
The award recognises that local services have achieved the highest standard of care for families in the East Riding of Yorkshire, at a time that is challenging for everyone, especially families who are expecting a baby, those who have recently given birth or who have young children.
Alison Greaves, infant feeding lead at East Riding Children Centres, and Pauline Dumble, infant feeding lead at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are aware that parents may be feeling particularly anxious at this time. We offer evidence-based information and support to all women, regardless of how they decide to feed their babies.”
During the Coronavirus outbreak, services have been adapted and the Children’s Centre teams have launched virtual breastfeeding cafes along with virtual baby massage sessions. There is also an online ante-natal offer including information around infant feeding, breastfeeding, safer sleeping, bathing babies, relationship building and mental health and teams are working closely with midwives, who are offering group ante-natal classes over the internet. The ISPHNS also provides a weekly specialist breastfeeding service One2One run by 3 International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC).
Michele Moran, baby-friendly guardian and chief executive of Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to renew the prestigious Gold UNICEF UK Baby Friendly award. It is excellent news.
“In particular, I want to acknowledge the immense efforts of our integrated Baby-Friendly Team and Integrated Specialist Public Health Nursing Service in maintaining such high standards.
“Supporting breastfeeding is part of the programme, however, the Baby-Friendly Initiative aims to raise standards of care for all babies, regardless of how they are fed.
“Families living in East Yorkshire during the Coronavirus outbreak can be assured that we are here for you.”
Councillor Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and education at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, added: “A huge well done to all staff across both teams that have worked so hard to achieve this fantastic outcome. They should be very proud of themselves.
“The current Covid-19 health crisis will make engaging with parents more difficult, but this will bring opportunities as well as challenges.
“The teams have shown that they are well placed to embrace those opportunities and continue to provide an excellent start in life for our very youngest residents in the East Riding.”
For more information, contact the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Children’s Centre Hubs at Anlaby, Beverley, Bridlington, Driffield, Goole and Withernsea or the Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust Integrated Specialist Public Health Nursing Service.