Coventry University’s midwifery courses have been awarded Baby Friendly certificate for breastfeeding training.
It is the first step in gaining international recognition for the high-quality breastfeeding education provided to students on the university’s two BSc midwifery courses.
The university has been awarded a certificate of commitment from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative.
It is a step towards full Baby Friendly accreditation, which is a prestigious international award sought after by hospitals, health organisations and training providers.
The university confirmed to UNICEF that it provides students with a thorough understanding of breastfeeding support and the formation of close and loving relationships between mothers and babies. There is no promotion of breastmilk substitutes, bottles, or teats on the midwifery courses or by any of the staff.
The next stage is assessment of the curriculum to ensure that other Baby Friendly standards are being met.
The Baby Friendly Initiative, set up by UNICEF and the WHO, is a global programme, which helps health services to improve the care provided for all mothers and babies.
The Baby Friendly Universities Award was launched in the UK in 2008 – the first such award anywhere in the world – in order to ensure that high quality education in breastfeeding is incorporated in midwifery and health visitor training courses.
Sue Lees, Coventry University’s lead midwife for education, said that many women give up breastfeeding before they want to because of difficulties, which could have been prevented with skilled help.
‘By ensuring that our students have the appropriate knowledge and skills, more women will be able to breastfeed their babies for longer,’ she said.