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Lakes District Hospital celebrating 'Baby Friendly' status for the fourth time

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It’s World Breastfeeding week and Lakes District Hospital Maternity Unit is celebrating accreditation by the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance as a Baby Friendly Facility for the fourth time, showing a commitment to breastfeeding for almost a decade.

The hospital will celebrate its success at a ceremony to be held at St John in Frankton tomorrow.

The ‘Baby Friendly’ accreditation recognises that the hospital is promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding, and at the same time, ensuring that women who choose not to breastfeed are supported in their decision and provided with unbiased information and advice.

Southern DHB Director of Midwifery, Jenny Humphries says the event marks a significant achievement by the dedicated staff. “We’re really proud of this – it’s a great reflection of the maternity care provided at Lakes District Hospital. Since the beginning of the year alone approximately 116 women have discharged from Lakes Maternity exclusively breastfeeding their babies.”

There is an expectation that at least 75 % of women will be exclusively breastfeeding their babies on discharge from the facility. In 2018, 100% of the babies born at Lakes District Hospital were discharged from Maternity exclusively breastfed, which is a real credit to the support provided to new mothers.

Ann Mackay, Midwifery Co-coordinator says the team are really proud of their achievement. “With support from our managing team, our dedicated maternity staff understand and recognise the importance of maintaining the high numbers of exclusively breastfed babies discharging from Lakes Maternity Unit and the current and future benefits that this brings to mothers, babies and our community.”

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is an initiative of the World Health Organisation and UNICEF and aims to strengthen the capacity of national health systems to protect and support breastfeeding.

Photo Opportunity:

Media are invited to attend a ceremony at St John 10 Douglas Street, Frankton tomorrow (Friday 2 August 2019), from 12pm celebrating the hospital achieving this accreditation. The ceremony will be attended by New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance Executive Officer, Jane Cartwright.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Southern DHB Senior Communications Advisor Vanessa Barratt, on 020 4166 2019 or email: vanessa.Barratt@southerndhb.govt.nz  

Notes for editors:
Today more than 20,000 hospitals have been Baby Friendly Accredited in 156 countries worldwide. The BFHI programme encourages hospitals and health care facilities - particularly maternity wards - to adopt practices that fully protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding from birth.

In New Zealand, all maternity services are required to achieve and maintain BFHI accreditation. The standards of care and services provided are audited by the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) every three years. Currently 99.85 percent of infants born in national maternity services are delivered in BFHI accredited facilities.

The BFHI has had a positive impact on New Zealand's maternity services, with annual breastfeeding rates showing 79% of babies are exclusively breastfed on discharge from Baby Friendly hospitals. Breastfeeding is important and helps to optimize lifelong health outcomes for mothers, babies and whānau.