The University of Nottingham’s commitment to the effective promotion of breastfeeding is set to be recognised and celebrated in a special event this month.
MP Geoff Hoon will join the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, Professor David Riley, at the Queen’s Medical Centre as the Division of Midwifery — part of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy — receives a Baby Friendly Award from UNICEF.
The Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide education programme run by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation to encourage and support successful breastfeeding. Universities receive the Baby Friendly Award after undergoing rigorous assessment by UNICEF UK staff to test the skill and knowledge of midwifery students, as well as checking the course content and mechanisms for updating lecturers and mentors.
The event takes place on Friday May 15, during Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Mr Hoon will meet students and staff from the Division of Midwifery.
Displays will give information on breastfeeding education. Students will also be presented with certificates showing that they have completed the Baby Friendly course.
“The promotion and support of breastfeeding is a key public health issue, with implications not only for the health of babies but for everyone in society,” said Professor Diane Fraser, Head of the Academic Division of Midwifery. “We are delighted to be the third UK University to achieve this award.
“It recognises our commitment to ensuring student midwives are equipped with the knowledge and skills to support women and their families by incorporating best practice standards. We are proud of our students and convinced that graduating from a Baby Friendly University will enhance their practice”
Student Andrea Hansel-Hides has taken part in the course. She said: “I enjoyed the BFI curriculum because it gave us up-to-date information on latest research in anatomy and physiology. This not only benefited my existing knowledge as a student but also as a breastfeeding peer supporter. It will help me to give the appropriate support to mothers intending to breastfeed, especially those on the wards who have difficulties. It was an excellent opportunity which will benefit my midwifery career.”
Carmel Duffy, Deputy Programme Director for the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, said: “The award is made to reflect the hard work and commitment of the department to ensuring that all student midwives have sufficient knowledge and skills to enable them to support women to breastfeed successfully.
“Recognising the importance of breastfeeding for the health of mothers and babies and allocating time for this within the curriculum makes a strong statement that breastfeeding support is fundamental to the role of the midwife and too important to be left as an add on extra that is picked up on the job.”
The event will take place on Friday 15 May from 12 noon at The University of Nottingham Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.