On Tuesday, May 19, 2009 we reported that...

THE midwifery team at the Vale of Leven Hospital has been recognised as delivering a “gold standard” service to all its mums and babies.

And the specialised team at the Community Maternity Unit (CMU) did it in style, scoring almost 100 per cent in every category of the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative.

The award, which will not be officially handed to the team until the end of the year, recognises top level care provided to pregnant women and new mums.

Dumbarton midwife Valerie McAlpine, who is the team leader, said: “It’s a great achievement for us and it goes to show how hard everyone works to ensure we achieve the highest standard of care.

“What is important, and what has been recognised by the people from UNICEF, is that all the women who come here are given the same information so there is no confusion.

“Basically we have been recognised as having the gold standard of service and it is what every midwife unit is striving to achieve. It’s amazing that we have achieved it in such a short period of time since opening in 2004.”

Lesley Garry, a midwife from Bonhill, added: “We had to be assessed by officers from UNICEF to make sure that we made a certain standard of care and we passed with flying colours.

"The assessors just kept saying what a pleasure it was to come to such a well run unit.

“I think what impressed the assessors the most, and what made us come out with such high scores, is that none of the midwives had to be prompted when asked a question, everyone just knew what the correct information was.”

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Mum-of-four Susan McCreadie has just welcomed the latest addition to the family, Rowan, into the world and she cannot speak highly enough of the CMU.

She said: “The midwives can’t do enough for you and it’s like a home from home here, you don’t feel like you’re in a hospital at all.

“I cannot speak highly enough of everyone that works here.”

The staff at the CMU also run a number of successful breastfeeding clinics across the area

to help new mums, which was another service praised by the UNICEF assessors. National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, a campaign by the Government to encourage young mums to breastfeed, ran until Saturday, and the success story of the Vale CMU highlights the campaign’s message of the ‘feedgood factor’.

Breastfed babies are less likely to be ill with infections or suffer from allergies, while mothers who breastfeed are less at risk of developing ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

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