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University receives award for breast feeding training

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The team at University of Wolverhampton Members of the health visiting team (l-r): Michelle Moore, Faith Muir, Pauline Lim and Paul Reynolds

The University of Wolverhampton has received top recognition for breastfeeding training for health visiting students.

The university achieved Stage 2 accreditation as part of the Baby Friendly Initiative, a worldwide programme developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.

The Postgraduate Diploma and BSc (Hons) specialist Community Public Health Nursing courses were praised for their positive approach to implementing the aims of the Baby Friendly Initiative following rigorous assessment.

Dr Sarah Sherwin, head of community practice, said that the knowledge, skills and sensitivity demonstrated by the majority of the students was of an 'extremely high standard'.

'Overall the assessment revealed the students, who come to the University of Wolverhampton from NHS Trusts around the West Midlands, are equipped with the knowledge and skills to implement Baby Friendly standards around close and loving relationships, promoting breastfeeding and supporting mothers with feeding,' she said.

Feedback from the UNICEF assessors stated the University of Wolverhampton had consistently displayed enthusiasm and commitment towards implementing the Baby Friendly learning outcomes and providing an effective training programme.

The Baby Friendly intiative was established in 1992 to encourage maternity hospitals worldwide to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which provides key information on best practice in advising mothers to breastfeed. The Baby Friendly Initiative was later extended to include community healthcare services and university programmes for midwifery and health visiting.

'The team are delighted with the superb result of this assessment, which was due to the hard work of the students and their practice teachers,' added Paul Reynolds, the health visiting course leader.

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