By: 7 January 2013

UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Initiative has commended the breastfeeding knowledge and skills of Salford’s midwifery students – scoring them the highest of any university in the United Kingdom.

The Baby Friendly Initiative was established by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to improve the care provided to all mothers and babies. For the last two years the university has been working towards accreditation by equipping students with the knowledge and skills to support breastfeeding mothers.

A random sample of 23 students achieved between 95 percent and 100 percent during the UNICEF assessment. The students’ high levels of knowledge, communication skills and practical expertise in enabling mothers to breastfeed were also noted during the university’s successful bid for accreditation.

Anne Leyland, Lecturer in Midwifery, said: “The training is important because we need to help women breastfeed for longer and have healthier babies. Many women give up because of difficulties that could have been prevented by skilled help.

“By educating our students to a high standard in infant feeding, we will enable women to breastfeed for longer and make an important contribution to maternal and infant health for the future.”