Milton Keynes University Hospital has been awarded Unicef's Baby-Friendly Accreditation Award as international recognition of its maternity services.
The Baby-Friendly Initiative, set up by Unicef and the World Health Organisation, is a global programme which provides a practical and effective way for health services to improve the care provided for all mothers and babies.
In the UK, the initiative works with public services to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and to strengthen mother-baby and family relationships.
The Award is given to health facilities/hospitals/universities after an assessment by a Unicef team has shown that recognised best practice standards are in place.
Nicky Burns-Muir, the hospital's director of patient care, said: “At MKUH we strive to ensure that the birthing experience is as positive as possible, so we are delighted that the Baby-Friendly award has been made in recognition of this.
“This fantastic achievement means that by promoting breastfeeding for our babies we are nurturing close and loving relationships between mothers and babies which supports optimum health and development throughout their lives."
Nicky added: "The feedback from the inspection team was excellent regarding the care offered by the midwives to mothers and babies. In some areas, such as skin-to-skin contact at birth and non-separation of mums and babies, we received a 100% rating which is testament to the effort of our staff.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have a fantastic team of doctors, midwives and support staff who all help make births as safe and as enjoyable as possible.
“Having a baby can be an anxious time for you and your family and we endeavour to do whatever we can to ensure that mothers and their babies have all that they require.”
Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director Sue Ashmore said: “We are delighted that MKUH has achieved full Baby-Friendly status. Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Mothers at MKUH can be confident that their midwives/health visitors will provide high standards of care.”