University of Nottingham to receive Baby Friendly Award

29 Apr 2009 10:32:00.000

PA 119/09

The University of Nottingham’s commitment to the effective promotion of breastfeeding is set to be recognised and celebrated in a special event this month.


MP Geoff Hoon will join the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, Professor David Riley, at the Queen’s Medical Centre as the Division of Midwifery — part of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy — receives a Baby Friendly Award from UNICEF.


The Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide education programme run by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation to encourage and support successful breastfeeding. Universities receive the Baby Friendly Award after undergoing rigorous assessment by UNICEF UK staff to test the skill and knowledge of midwifery students, as well as checking the course content and mechanisms for updating lecturers and mentors.

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The event takes place on Friday May 15, during Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Mr Hoon will meet students and staff from the Division of Midwifery.


Displays will give information on breastfeeding education. Students will also be presented with certificates showing that they have completed the Baby Friendly course.


“The promotion and support of breastfeeding is a key public health issue, with implications not only for the health of babies but for everyone in society,” said Professor Diane Fraser, Head of the Academic Division of Midwifery. “We are delighted to be the third UK University to achieve this award.


“It recognises our commitment to ensuring student midwives are equipped with the knowledge and skills to support women and their families by incorporating best practice standards. We are proud of our students and convinced that graduating from a Baby Friendly University will enhance their practice”


Student Andrea Hansel-Hides has taken part in the course. She said: “I enjoyed the BFI curriculum because it gave us up-to-date information on latest research in anatomy and physiology. This not only benefited my existing knowledge as a student but also as a breastfeeding peer supporter. It will help me to give the appropriate support to mothers intending to breastfeed, especially those on the wards who have difficulties. It was an excellent opportunity which will benefit my midwifery career.”


Carmel Duffy, Deputy Programme Director for the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, said: “The award is made to reflect the hard work and commitment of the department to ensuring that all student midwives have sufficient knowledge and skills to enable them to support women to breastfeed successfully.


“Recognising the importance of breastfeeding for the health of mothers and babies and allocating time for this within the curriculum makes a strong statement that breastfeeding support is fundamental to the role of the midwife and too important to be left as an add on extra that is picked up on the job.”

The event will take place on Friday 15 May from 12 noon at The University of Nottingham Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.


The press are invited to the Baby Friendly Initiative event. If you would like to attend, please contact Lindsay Cullen in the Academic Division of Midwifery on +44 (0)115 823 0984,

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Diane Fraser on +44 (0)115 823 0820,; or Internal Communications Manager Tara de Cozar in the University’s Communications Office on +44 (0)115 8468545,

Tara De Cozar

Tara De Cozar - Internal Communications Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8560 Location: University Park

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