Baby Friendly Hospital


The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Maternity Services (BHSCT) include both the Royal Jubilee Maternity Service and the Mater Midwife Lead Unit.  The BHSCT Maternity Services are proud to hold full accreditaton with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative since 2009.  The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative have standards of care, which the maternity services continually strive to improve and maintain.  We recognise that a strong mother-baby relationship is the foundation for a baby's future health and well-being. 

Breastfeeding supports this loving bond and can make a vital difference to a mother and baby's health.  As a Baby
Friendly accredited service, we promote and support best practice in relation to breastfeeding. We recognise that
strong mother-baby and family relationships are important for all babies, not only those who are breastfed. Find out
more about the Baby Friendly Initiative

In pregnancy, a woman can expect to have conversations about 'connecting' with her baby before the birth. Take time
to think about the growing baby, talk to her 'bump', notice movements and involve her family can enhance how a mother
responds to her baby's needs after birth but this can also have a positive affect the baby's growth and development
especially brain development.

After the birth we encourage all babies to have a period of skin to skin contact which promotes instinctive behaviour in
the new-born, regulates the baby's temperature, breathing and heart rate, as well as calming both the mother and baby.
Babies may instinctively breastfeed at this time.  Responsive feeding is encouraged for all babies as mothers learn about
feeding cues and the importance of frequent effective feeding.  Support will be offered through the postnatal period to
enable mothers, whether breast or formula feeding, to develop the skills necessary to feed their babies responsively.
Feeding Your Baby