THE help and support given to Halton’s breastfeeding mums is excellent, and that’s official.

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust in Halton and St Helens has been accredited with stage 2 of the Unicef UK Baby Friendly initative.

This means that the team has educated their staff to implement the UK ‘Baby Friendly’ standards and been externally assessed.

Some 34 members of staff from midwifery, health visiting and the health improvement breastfeeding support teams were audited by Unicef to achieve this accolade to provide community support for local pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Assessors from Unicef said: “Bridgewater Halton and St Helens presents a positive approach to breastfeeding and has consistently displayed enthusiasm and commitment towards providing an effective training programme.”

Work towards stage 3 accreditation has now begun with all staff continuing to support families in Halton.

Breastfeeding support workers run workshops across Runcorn and Widnes to help mums and mums-to-be make informed choices about how to feed their babies.

Breast milk remains the best source of nutrition for babies as it helps protect them from infection and diseases.

For babies, it reduces the risk of infections, including ear and chest infections and gastroenteritis, and reduces the chance of illnesses later in life.

For mums, it helps them lose weight after pregnancy, reduces the risk of breast cancer, weak bones in later life and ovarian cancer.

It also reduces the risk of cot death.

To contact Halton’s breastfeeding support workers, call 0300 300 0103. Calls cost the same as calling a landline, even from a mobile.