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Teesside first university in North-East to get UNICEF accreditation
TEESSIDE University has been named a “baby friendly university” after clinching an international accreditation.
It has been awarded the UNICEF certificate for its work in ensuring high levels of training in breastfeeding were incorporated into its health visitor courses.
This will enable students – the health visitors of the future – to help more women with breastfeeding their babies.
Teesside is the first university in the North East and the third university nationally to achieve the UNICEF accreditation.
Staff at the University worked with partners at the NHS and health visiting students over a four year period to achieve the prestigious accreditation. They also received baby friendly training from UNICEF.
During the process, Lynette Harland, Senior Lecturer in Community & Childhood Studies and Lead for Health Visiting at Teesside University, developed a memory aid for breastfeeding to help mothers, which is now being used by UNICEF within its training and has been incorporated into a breastfeeding app which has thousands of downloads nationally and internationally.
Vicky Head, Infant Feeding Co-ordinator at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “This is a fabulous outcome for the health visiting services across Teesside and County Durham. I must commend Lynette for the dedication she has shown throughout the last four years.”
Lynette said the accreditation ensures students have the knowledge and skills to promote breastfeeding among new mothers.
Sue Ashmore, Programme Director for the Baby Friendly Initiative, said: “Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. Teesside University is addressing this problem and aiming to ensure more mothers can successfully breastfeed their babies in future.”
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