UNICEF UK has awarded a Certificate of Commitment to Brent Council in partnership with London Northwest Healthcare Trust (LNWHT), Barnardos and Faewood and Curzon Partnership in its first step towards gaining Baby Friendly accreditation.
Certificates were presented to staff by Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing on Thursday 1December at Brent Civic Centre.
Speaking at the launch, Cllr Hirani, said: "Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as asthma and diabetes later in life. We also know that breastfeeding reduces the mother's risk of some cancers - It is also cheaper and simply less hassle than bottle feeding.
"We also set out to ensure that all mums and babies are supported to form a strong loving relationship, whatever their choice of feeding method, as this helps to provide the best start for every baby."
Amanda Pye, Chief Nurse at LNWHT, said: "Within London North West Healthcare we are working hard to ensure mothers have the information and support they need to initiate and maintain breastfeeding.
We are pleased to support the Baby Friendly Initiative which is important because it ensures the best possible start for infant feeding for mums and babies".
Lynn Gradwell, Director of Barnardo's in London, said: "We believe all children deserve the best start, and we know infant feeding can help to create a really strong bond between a mother and baby from the outset, laying a strong foundation for children to form positive attachments and relationships in later life.
"Many people want to breastfeed but they don't always get the support they need. We're delighted that Brent Council has been given this award, in recognition of the high standard of care and encouragement provided to local families by midwives and health visitors, and in the 14 children's centres that Barnardo's runs in the borough."