The Causeway Hospital in Coleraine is now one of the most baby friendly in the UK.
The Coleraine hospital recently gained the award alongside Craigavon Area Hospital and the Ulster Hospital. Six other maternity units in Northern Ireland have already achieved the prestigious international accolade.
It means that 93 percent of births in Northern Ireland take place in a UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) BFI hospital – the highest rate of any region of the UK.
The award has been given to the three hospitals after an assessment by a UNICEF team found that best practice standards are in place.
East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden says the award for the Coleraine hospital shows ‘value of service’.
She said: “This is a good news story for mums-to-be across East Londonderry after the Causeway Hospital became one of three hospitals to be awarded the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Award, for supporting mother-baby and wider family relationships.
“I am delighted that 93 percent of births in Northern Ireland will now take place in a UNICEF hospital.
“This is the highest rate of any region in the UK, and will undoubtedly provide reassurance for mothers-to-be, in my constituency, that best practise standards are in place.
“I am particularly pleased that the Causeway Hospital has been awarded this status. This is further testament to the excellent standard of care provided by staff in the Causeway, and the value of service which it provides within this constituency.
“It is vital that new mums are supported to make informed choices about the care of their newborns from the beginning.
“This news will give reassurance to many parents-to-be that they are in safe hands.”
UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Programme Director Sue Ashmore said: “Mothers across Northern Ireland can be confident that maternity staff are trained and supported to provide high standards of care and support.”